Kolkata, Feb 14: East Bengal's fourth foreign footballer Christopher Payne is all set to make his debut for Kolkata giants.
The striker who used to play for Sydney United FC had struck 22 goals in 24 matches in the Australian Premier League in the current season.
But the striker has some more interesting memories. While speaking to media after finishing his first day training with East Bengal teammates Payne revealed: “I had met Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he came to Australia to take part in an exhibition match with Paris Saint-Germain two years ago.”
The Manchester United striker is his idol. That is the reason Payne, the 5'10 lanky striker has kept a ponytail like Ibrahimovic. He too likes to score goals, play within the top box mainly.
Payne further added: “In a couple of minutes’ interaction with Ibrahimovic before that exhibition match in Melbourne.
"I asked him about the tricks of scorpion kick and I was amazed to have noticed that despite being such a famous footballer, Ibrahimovic did not hesitate to tell me about the tricks of that special shot.
"I have scored goals in that scorpion shots in our local league. I will also execute that shot here also.”
The Australian striker also has another memorable incident when he shook hands with Carlos Tevez after playing another exhibition match around two weeks ago.
Payne said: “Tevez appreciated my goal scoring spree after the match when I went to shake hand s with him.
"It will also be a great memory for me because receiving applauds from a great footballer like Tevez is a huge inspiration for the footballers like me.”
The 26-year old striker is aware of the football fanaticism in Kolkata. He said: “I was pleased to have watched the craziness of the fans over derby as well as for the football in this city. The supporters are always huge inspiration.”
East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan gave hint that Pain could be fielded for some time in the team’s next I-League match against Lajong FC.