London: Former English club Ipswich Town striker Michael Chopra has said that he wants to renounce his British citizenship and play for India and wants to be part of the legend of Sachin Tendulkar in Indian football.
Chopra, who played for England Under-21s, said that he is prepared to give up his British passport, adding that to get international experience is one of his dreams and he wants to progress with the Indian national team.
Chopra was drafted into the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) by the Kerala Blasters on Thursday and he was one of the top picks in the international players draft, attracting a fee of 35,000 pounds from the franchise, which is part-owned by former India cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, The BBC reported.
Chopra said that he wants to be part of the legend of Sachin Tendulkar, and added that everyone knows him because of how well he`s done in cricket and hopefully the striker says he can follow in the cricket legend`s footsteps in football.
The former Ipswich striker said that things are really starting to take off in India now and after the Super League he wants to stay over there. He added that he wants to play in the I-League, set up soccer academies and try and bring the kids up that way as well.
India`s national team are currently ranked 150th in the world, but Chopra believes the ISL can help transform the country`s footballing fortunes. He feels that it would be similar to the Indian Premier League in cricket and may be in a year or two up there with it.
Chopra said that there are 1.3 billion people in India and if they can get football up and running to how the cricket is, it`ll be massive.
Former Bolton and France international defender Bernard Mendy was the highest-priced pick in the draft, going to the Chennai franchise for 48,000 pounds. Other prominent players to feature in the draft included former Manchester United midfielder Bojan Djordjic and La Liga veteran Jofre Mateu.
Former Liverpool striker Luis Garcia and ex-Juventus striker David Trezeguet have already committed to ISL franchises, the report added.