The Indian Super League inaugural cup was just near for Kerala Blasters FC but team couldn’t hold it and it went to Atletico de Kolkata. Kerala Blasters manager and goal keeper David James had guts enough after the ISL final to accept that Atletico de Kolkata played best and they deserved to win first Indian Super league trophy.
David James said, “I had said they were the best team in the competition and I was hoping that we would still beat them and we had chances too to beat them. It just goes to show that you have to play to the final whistle. A minute before the end, we switched off on a set piece, and it cost us the match.”
England’s former number 1 goal-keeper was disappointed as well in the conference with news reporters after the final match defeat. He praised both teams but at the end he was dis-heartened as failed to clinch the trophy.
“Disappointed of course by losing the game but I have to be positive about the fact that my side got to the final. Pushed the champions to literally the last minute. A bitter-sweet moment I would say. Kolkata started so well in the competition. I said they were the best team, and the best passing team, ball control team in the competition. Today they seemed to control the game at the right times. Not necessarily the most attractive game of football, granted, but it’s a cup final and got two team’s with very good defences,” he added.
“Of all the defensive records, we have the best in the league section and they probably had it in the last six or seven games. It was going to be a tight affair. Edel produced a wonderful save in the fitting moment of the match to keep Michael Chopra out. Effectively, Edel’s produced a saving in fitting moment of the match and helped win ISL first competition for Atletico de Kolkata. If Edel hadn’t made that save (in the 83rd minute), we would be sitting here as champions and talking about a completely different game.”
David said, “If I do come back next year, I am not sure I would playing though, at 45 that might be asking a little bit too much. But I have enjoyed it.”
James also praised co-owner and cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar. He said Sachin is a fantastic sportsman and he has encouraged team a lot during the tournament and final game as well.
“Sachin has had some tremendous performances in his career and I found out that he has some bad ones here as well. It was interesting to speak to another sportsman and I think that is what galvanised Kerala Blasters having Sachin as an owner.”
“We spoke with Tendulkar after the match. He said that our team had won hearts and even he had lost here for Mumbai at some point in cricket matches. Big match maybe. It’s quite interesting to speak to a sportsman who has been through ups and downs.”
“I believe there is a massive opportunity for Indian football to grow very quickly. Slightly fair that an Indian player (Mohammed Rafique) scores a winning goal in the final,” David James also praised the hero of ISL final Md Rafique. He also believes that Indian football has great future ahead the way people and youngsters have responded during the first edition of Indian Super League.