The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed has affected the Indian football season with there still being no clarity on when the resumption of leagues can take place.
When the lockdown restrictions kicked in mid-March, the I-League and all World Cup qualifying matches scheduled in March and June 2020 got postponed.
Indian footballer Robin Singh who had earlier this year made the move from Hyderabad FC to Real Kashmir to get more playing time could not finish the season due to the coronavirus outbreak. It also affected his plans of making a comeback to the national team.
At his home now in Goa, the footballer remains optimistic and still believes that at the age of 30 years he will get to play for the Blue Tigers in the near future.
Speaking to indiatoday.in in an exclusive interview, the striker said, “For me, it has never been a factor of age. I want to be the fittest to my abilities, and if the coach [Igor Stimac] accepts what I bring to the team and if he thinks I am fit for the team, he will use me. What I have to do is to keep myself ready and to keep myself hungry.”
What gives Robin hope is the recent interview of the national coach of India, Igor Stimac, where he did agree that lack of quality strikers is affecting India’s chances at the world stage.
“In a recent interview, he [Stimac] said that he wants a big striker. I do feel that I am a big striker, unless, he wants somebody bigger. I feel I do fit the bill and that’s what pushes me to keep working to be better,” says a determined Robin Singh.
‘INDIAN FOOTBALL IS ON THE RIGHT PATH’
He also expressed happiness about the path that Indian football is on, but added that it will take some time for the results to come.
“I love the kind of football we are playing. But everybody asks where are the results. The only thing that you can say to that is that transition does take time. We as a country are definitely progressing. We are moving in the right direction,” he added.
Robin also credited the Indian fans for their support of the team and said that it is the spectators ‘who make the game’. He said that the spectators make football an experience, and believes that it would be difficult to play football without the fans – referring to the current situation in which football is being played across Europe.
‘BAYERN IS WINNING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE’
Singh also added that he is excited to be able to watch football again on the television, and lauded the German giants Bayern Munich for the way they have played in the Champions League so far, saying that for him ‘Bayern is pretty much winning this’.
“For me, it’s going to be Bayern. The mentality that they bring in, the ruthlessness that they bring in, it’s amazing to watch.”
Talking about their demolition of Barcelona in the quarterfinals where the Germans triumphed 8-2, he said, “None of us expected that. We all thought this match will be the decider as to who would go on to win the title. But no one expected such a result.”
Finally, when asked if Lionel Messi would leave Barcelona after the humiliating loss, Singh said, “You don’t see a Barcelona name being taken without a Messi name. He is a product of them and I think he will stay with him as his loyalty lies there.”