Despite playing for the England U-21 National team, former EPL striker and soon-to-be Indian Super League star Michael Chopra made it clear that he also hopes to become an integral part of the national team. Chopra may have British citizenship and residency currently, but the opportunity to play internationally trumps any such ties.
“I’m prepared to give up my British passport,” Chopra said. “To get international experience is one of my dreams and I want to progress with the Indian national team.”
Ranked just No. 150 in the world, India could use Chopra’s talent. And more importantly, Chopra’s presence would have a positive long term impact on bringing on top-level talent.
After being selected by the Sachin Tendulkar-owned Kerala Blasters in the inaugural ISL draft, Chopra understood the relevance of the moment.
“I want to be part of the legend of Sachin Tendulkar,” said Chopra. “Everyone knows him because of how well he’s done in cricket and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps in football. “Things are really starting to take off in India now and after the Super League I want to stay over there. I want to play in the I-League [India's main club competition], set up soccer academies and try and bring the kids up that way as well.”
For those awaiting more details about the ISL and its arrangement, the wait is almost over. Plans for the ISL and the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup will be officially presented to the global football industry at the Soccerex Global Convention, held in Manchester from Sep. 6 to Sep. 10.