Indian players have to be tough: Ex-Liverpool star Riise

Mumbai, Sep 26 (IANS) Former Liverpool star and Delhi Dynamos player John Arne Riise believes that Indian players have to be more tough and not be shy in order to do well at the international level.

Riise, who scored 21 goals in 234 appearances for Liverpool in a span of eight years, also praised Indian players, terming them a talented bunch.

“I think Indian players have to be tough and not be shy. In the international level guys are tough and hard. Indian players are a talented bunch but they need to get rid of the two aspects,” Riise told reporters here on Saturday.

“What I did for other clubs around the globe I want to do the same thing here. I want to score more goals and win the ISL for my team. I love to take challenges and I hope I will help Indian football grow in world stage. We have more options in Europe and here it is less, so I think the Indian players must grab this opportunity very well,” the former Norway international, who also played for top clubs like Fulham and AS Roma said.

The left back said his former teammate and Liverpool great Steven Gerrard wished him the best ahead of his visit to India.

“Gerrard and I are close friends. Like when he went to LA Galaxy I wished him. He too wished me when I came to ISL. He was a bit surprised why I was coming to India but after knowing the reason he said to me all the best,” he said.

Former France and Chelsea forward Florent Malouda, who is in the side for the second edition, believes that the pre-season training in Sweden and Denmark has helped the players jell with each other.

“We have a lot of ambition. The pre-season training helped our boys to get together and practice well. But the weather in Denmark and Sweden will be different from Delhi. First game against FC Goa will be tough I know and we are ready to deliver under pressure,” he said.

India striker Robin Singh, who was bought by Delhi in the players auction, said he is thrilled to represent his hometown and also play under Brazil legend Roberto Carlos.

“It feels great to be part of ISL and primarily to play for my hometown. It is amazing to work with coach Carlos, Malouda, Riise. We had a very good pre-season and ready to deliver for the team and win the ISL,” Robin said.


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