Business Standard

Sunil bhai told me to not burden myself: Soosairaj Michael


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Aiming to break into the Indian football team, Michael Soosairaj says he will "never forget the advice" he received from star striker Sunil Chhetri during their first meeting.
"Like most other youngsters, I used to look up to Sunil Chhetri since my childhood. This is my first National team camp and meeting him the first time has been my favourite moment," Soosairaj said on the sidelines of the preparatory camp ahead of the King's Cup.
"I will never forget his advice the first time we met. He told me not to burden myself with any pressure. It's your first national team camp, just enjoy the moment and give your best on the ground. That's what Sunil bhai said to me."

Soosairaj also said that "Sunil bhai is so humble, and it's infectious".
"He came up to every junior player and asked us to stay focused on and off the pitch, and continue the good work. He has met all of us individually and that's blown me away," Soosairaj said.
Although the Chennai-based midfielder scored four goals, and provided five assists for Jamshedpur FC in the last edition of ISL, the competition in the national team is something which he has already started to feel.
"37 fantastic players were called up by the Coach, and eventually only 23 players will be in that final list.
"There's a fierce competition amongst us. There are some great midfielders in the squad. I know I need to compete with then, and that I have to give my best. I'm trying my best in every training session, he said.
"It feels great to be in the National Team setup along with all. Even if I don't make the cut finally, I won't get bogged down. It has been an eye-opener, and a unique experience which will help me better myself as a player."

The 24-year-old also said that he grew up watching his elder brother Regin Michael play, and he's the one who has been motivating him even today.
"My elder brother (Regin Michael) is my motivation. I have seen him playing since my childhood, and he motivates me even today. Incidentally, both of us have signed for the same club now.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 6:00 PM IST

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