Nabi hopes to get I-League chance
He may have missed out on the trip to Tajikistan but he is back! And now AIFF Player of the Year Syed Rahim Nabi, who was on Monday named in the Indian football team for the SAFF Championships, wants to make sure he gets a full season under his belt.
Nabi was one of the first players to sign for IMG-Reliance’s IPL-style tournament, but told TNIE that he still hoped to wear the colours of an I-League club this season. “I believe that the issues between IMG-Reliance and I-League clubs will be resolved soon and that we will be able to play in the I-League this season. I have already had several offers from club, but I have not decided anything. I will go back to Kolkata after the SAFF Cup and only then will I decide. As of now, I hope both parties resolve their difference,” he said.
Nabi also said that his fitness was good and he was now looking forward to the SAFF Cup. “There were a lot of reports questioning my fitness levels when I was left out of the team for the Tajikistan game. But it was a misunderstanding that the media had. Right now, I am fit and raring to go. I believe the SAFF Cup this year will be one of the toughest ever - certainly the toughest one I have played in. Afghanistan and Maldives are looking good while Nepal is playing on their home turf. Teams like Bangladesh and Pakistan will also be up for it.”
Regarding his much publicised MLS trail with DC United, Nabi revealed that while the trial will be held in September, he will only be playing in the US next year. “I will leave for the US right after the SAFF Championships. If the trial is successful then I will go back there sometime next year. It is difficult as MLS clubs have a quota for foreign players and they will only take the best, but I hope to do my best,” he said.