CPD FOOTBALL | THE BLOG | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Nirmal Chettri: I hope Bayern will win the Champions League

Nirmal Chettri

The UEFA Champions League final will take place at the Allianz Arena on May 19, when FC Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC face each other for European glory. The football world is looking forward to this grand finale and Indian international Nirmal Chettri is one of the excited people waiting for the kick-off.

I had the opportunity to speak exclusively to Nirmal and to find out about his expectations for the climax of international club football.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
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Chris: Nirmal, how are you doing?

Nirmal: Thanks Chris, I’m doing well.

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Chris: The 2011/12 season is coming to an end. How would you describe your season in the I-League and with the Indian national team? What were your personal highlights?

Nirmal: I think we did well as a team. We could have done better, but being I-League runners-up is a satisfying result to this season.

This season went also well for me personally from the early beginning till the last match against Air India in Pune.

I would like to thank the team management, the officials and especially my teammates, who made this season a special one for me. We were like a family all the time and we delivered good results in every tournament we played!

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Chris: The Indian national team played against German giants FC Bayern Munich in the „Audi Football Summit“ in January. It must have been a wonderful experience for you?

Nirmal: To be honest, it was a dream coming true for me to play along my idol Baichung Bhutia in his testimonial match and also to play against European giants Bayern Munich. I watched Bayern playing so many times on the television.

It was an amazing feeling to play against and with superstars of world football!

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Chris: Bayern will be playing the UEFA Champions League final against Chelsea FC on May 19 and they might be crowned champions of European club football. What is so special about this Bayern team according to your experience of playing against them?

Nirmal: I think they played as a unit throughout the whole UEFA Champions League season. It was a collective effort from the whole team.

They play their UCL home matches like home matches in the league and that is definitely a positive factor for them.

I hope they will repeat history and they will be crowned champions in the final at their home venue!

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Chris: What kind of final do you expect? Will it be an offensive spectacle or a tactical battle of the coaches?

Nirmal: I think it will be a 50-50 match. Both teams will miss their star defenders and it will be a match of the attackers. But I feel Chelsea have the better replacements in their squad in comparison to Bayern!

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Chris: Which team do you support in the final – Bayern or Chelsea? And why do you support them?

Nirmal: I will watch the match as a neutral supporter, but I would love to see Bayern winning the final!

I think they were the underdogs in the Champions League. They had the potential to upset the contenders and they did it against Real Madrid at the Bernabeau. I’m hoping for the best!

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Chris: Which stars will be the key players in the final to your opinion?

Nirmal: It will be Juan Mata of Chelsea in my point of view… He has been a livewire for Chelsea throughout the season. The way he moves with the ball and supplies to Drogba and Torres has been in the headlines every time. Let us see how the Bayern defenders will cope with him in the final!

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Chris: The final will take place at Bayern’s Allianz Arena. It will be the first time in the history of this competition that the home team will be playing a final at its own home ground. Is it an advantage or disadvantage for Bayern to play the final at home?

Nirmal: It will be definitely a 100% advantage for the home team. I hope Bayern will take all the advantage of it in the final!

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Chris: Many football fans were expecting an all Spanish final between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Are you surprised to see Bayern and Chelsea in the final?

Nirmal: Yes, everyone was surprised and I’m one of them! I thought it will be an „El Clásico“ final in Munich.

But football has proved to be unpredictable nowadays. Good teams have bad days sometimes. Even though they play well, they can’t win. That exactly proved in both UCL semi-finals!

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Chris: How about your own plans for the final? Where will you watch the final and who will be with you to watch the season highlight of international club football?

Nirmal: I will be at home in Sikkim at the time of the final. So I’ve already started to make some plans for it. I will visit Gangtok and watch the final on a big screen with my childhood friends and hostel mates.

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Chris: What’s your score prediction for the final?  

Nirmal: I think Chelsea will win the final 2-1!

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Chris: Finally I would like to give you a chance to send out a message to all your fans…  

Nirmal: I think the fans have been an inspiration for me. I would like to thank everyone who supported me in national and club jersey. I hope they will keep supporting me and appreciate my football.

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Chris: Nirmal, I would like to thank you for making some time for this interview!

Nirmal: It is always a pleasure to have a one on one with you. I enjoyed it to be interviewed by you in every occasion.

My best wishes for your work! The best part is that you’re doing great to take Indian football to another scenario!

Keep up the good work!

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Chris: Thanks a lot my friend!

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————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE of the UEFA Champions League Finals (Men & Women) LIVE from Munich, Germany!
LIKE www.facebook.com/cpd81 to get all the latest exclusives, news, interviews, pictures and videos from Munich!

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