Mumbai, Sep 28: Diego Forlan, the former Manchester United star and the Golden Ball winner at the FIFA World Cup 2010, will represent Mumbai City FC in the forthcoming Indian Super League as their marquee player. [Full schedule of ISL 2016] [Full list of squads for ISL 2016]
And in spite of being aware of the growing popularity of the newly launched League, Forlan while talking about the development of Indian football, has given the reference of Japan.
Forlan, while speaking to a section of media recently, said: “Japan should be the model for all the countries in the East.
"They have the skill to reach the root and find out the exact reasons that how development should be made.
"That is why Japan had learnt from Europe rapidly and implemented in its own football. Otherwise, they could not have been able to qualify for the five World Cups.”
He added: “In Uruguay, I have seen several times that a lot of Japanese young footballers who have been playing for some lower division Uruguay clubs are travelling from one place to another to watch top clubs match. They always want to learn. And this quality has been driving them towards the success.”
Forlan also mentioned that the development in infrastructure and work ethics could only steer Indian football to the international standard in near future.
He said: “You need to improve your infrastructure as well as work culture. Otherwise, it will not be possible for Indian football to improve, comparing to the international standard.”
However, the Uruguay star seems to be concentrating on regaining fitness even at the age of 37 years. He clarified: “I have heard that in the ISL we will have to play 14 matches within a gap of only two months.
"And we will have to roam around the country almost in every week from one city to another for playing home-and-away matches. So, you cannot deliver unless you keep yourself fully fit.”