Virat Kohli © AFP
Virat Kohli © AFP

During the Kolkata Full Marathon in January, Sachin Tendulkar mentioned that his vision is to see India becoming a multi-sport nation. Virat Kohli echoed the same thoughts during ISL’s match. Kohli, who is the co-owner of FC Goa, revealed that the ultimate ambition in his life is to develop a sporting culture in India. Just as he passionate towards his batting, Kohli is equally inclined to football.

In an interview with The Times of India (TOI), Kohli expressed his love for football and desire to see every sport making its own mark in the country.

On India’s sporting culture: “My ultimate aim in life in general is to have a sporting culture in India where people know each and every sport inside out; to be able to follow all sports equally. I am certainly excited about the fact that we are at a juncture where we have a chance to create that in the next 10-15 years and we foresee Goa as the hub.”

Passion for football: “I have always followed football. Even now we (cricketers) get so excited playing football, because the sport is so easy to get a hang of. Obviously at the elite level, it’s different but it’s something that excites children very quickly. There is motivation attached with the sport. Then there was this vision of growing together with the league. I see football developing in India in a massive way. The kind of awareness that ISL has created, everyone around the world talks about it.”

India unsuccessful journey in football: “It’s lack of leagues like ISL at a major level. With the kind of visibility on television and the kind of access that people have, it’s creating awareness. People know Indian players. People even watched all those who played at the Under-17 World Cup. It’s all about visibility. Unless you get to show your talent, on television screens, it’s very difficult for people to start liking something.”

Cricketers and football: “If you ask me to run 20 laps around the field, I would get bored after a while. But if you ask me to play a football match after a training session, I would keep running after that ball because I have a chance to do something with it. It’s a beautiful sport; everyone in the team likes it, and we love to show off as well.”