English footballer of Indian origin Michael Chopra will be one of the star players of the inaugural Hero Indian Super League (ISL).
The former Ipswich striker was picked by Sachin Tendulkar co-owned Kerala Blasters FC in the ISL International Player Draft on Thursday and he is looking forward to play on Indian soil.
“I want to be part of the legend of Sachin Tendulkar,” Chopra told the BBC Asian Network in an interview. “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, set up soccer academies and try and bring the kids up that way as well.”
“I think it will be similar to the Indian Premier League in cricket and may be in a year or two up there with it,” he continued in the BBC Asian Network interview. “There’s 1.3 billion people in India and if we can get football up and running to how the cricket is, it’ll be massive.”
The former England U-21 captain is also eager to represent the Indian national team and willing to to take major decisions to reach his goal.
“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.”