India national team defender Pritam Kotal revealed his fanboy experience when he first met legendary French footballer David Trezeguet in FC Pune City’s dressing room in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
During a live Instagram chat with ISL, Kotal spoke about his fond memories from the first season.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room was magical. I shared a dressing room with legends like David Trezeguet, Bruno Cirillo and Kostas Katsouranis. I had only watched Trezeguet on TV before. So I was very nervous initially. Sharing a dressing room with legends like them has made me a better player. Not just me many other Indian players have improved,” said the ATK star.
Kotal also spoke about his very first season in ATK in 2016 when he got a chance to play alongside Borja Fernandez and Portuguese star Helder Postiga.
“That was a memorable experience too. Playing in Kolkata was extra motivation for me. During the pre-season in Spain, I got to meet Helder Postiga and Borja Fernandez. They were extremely friendly. I am still in touch with them. Borja sent a congratulatory message to me after this season’s ISL win. They gave us tips off the field.”
The former Mohun Bagan player also said that he got to learn a lot while sharing a dressing room with and spoke about his leadership on and off the field.
“Borja Fernandez’s leadership and commitment on the pitch motivated us. We learned a lot from him. I remember during a league stage game against Mumbai City FC away from home, Borja wasn’t a hundred per cent fit. But before the game, he said ‘I will play 90 minutes and will win this match’.”
“We managed a draw in the match but the commitment which he showed was amazing. He was a true captain. We also won the title that season, my first ISL title. So it was very special,” said the Bengali footballer.