Ashique Kuruniyan: There is no pressure on us as defending champions

Defending champions, Bengaluru FC begin their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 campaign at home against NorthEast United FC on Monday. The Blues were quite outstanding last season, finishing second on the league table before beating the Highlanders and FC Goa on their way to winning the title. Expectations will hardly be any lesser this time around as well, especially given the kind of names signed by them in the summer transfer window.

Ahead of the fixture, one of their recent acquisitions, Ashique Kuruniyan spoke in an exclusive interview with Here are the excerpts:

Pressure of going into the Hero ISL 2019-20 season as defending champions?

There is no such pressure, because this is football after all. I've been enjoying football since childhood. I've been doing what I wanted to do in life. We are the defending (Hero ISL) champions this season and our challenge is to defend the title. No other team has been able to do it so far, and we are working towards it.

On joining Bengaluru FC ahead of Hero ISL 2019-20 season.

I had a dream to play for Benglauru FC, which is fulfilled now. So now, I want to win a trophy for this club. Everyone knows how professional Bengaluru FC is, as a football club. I had been getting injuries last season, they have set a plan for me, they helped me recover, and as a footballer you don't want to get injured as you miss a lot of matches. That is why I feel this club is a good destination for me. 

On playing under head coach Carles Cuadrat at Bengaluru FC.

Everyone likes Spanish football, mostly their styles are the same. The training we get is mostly with the ball, so it is a good platform for me to improve my ball control by training under Spanish coaches and training with Spanish players.

On the expected partnership with Sunil Chhetri.

We have played together in the Indian National team but not yet for Bengaluru FC. The styles are different, we have played together in pre-season but not in a competitive match. I don't know how the coach (Carles Cuadrat) wants me to play with him and at what position. So, I will be able to answer this question after some time.

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