Kolkata: The East Bengal midfielder talked about his FPAI award nomination, the season they had and the forthcoming Kolkata derby.
Mehtab Hussain, the star Indian midfielder revealed his excitement on being nominated for the Football Players Association of India`s (FPAI) Indian Football awards.
The other four nominees in the Best Indian Player of the season are Sunil Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, Lenny Rodrigues and Clifford Miranda. Given his brilliant display in national colours as well as in the AFC Cup matches, it can be easily said that Hussain is one of the favourites to win the award.
The midfield powerhouse of the Red and Gold has won the award in the past also, when he walked away with the double delight of winning both the `Best India Player` and `Fans Player of the Year` back in 2011.
“I am extremely happy to be nominated for the prestigious award. I would like to thank all the players who have voted for me. I have won it in the past and it will be great if I can repeat that feat this year also,” remarked the Indian international.
Mehtab, however will be unable to attend the gala prize distribution ceremony which will be attended by Bollywood celebrities like John Abraham, Dino Morea et al, as East Bengal will face their arch rivals Mohun Bagan that evening in a Kolkata League match. “Yes, I will miss the ceremony. But we are professional footballers and the game is our first priority,” the midfielder opined.
East Bengal now has 21 points from their 7 matches, while Mohun Bagan are 2 points behind having played the same number of fixtures. This is the last match of the season for both the teams. While a win will gift Mariners their first major silverware in three years, a draw will be sufficient for East Bengal to win the trophy for the third consecutive season.
“All’s well that ends well. This is our last game of a long season. We will try to win it and give our supporters a reason to celebrate,” Mehtab concluded.