Punjab FC midfielder Madih Talal expressed optimism about the continual improvement of the Indian Super League (ISL) with each passing season. 

Having joined Punjab FC in the summer, Talal has emerged as a key player for the team in their inaugural ISL campaign, following their promotion as I-League champions in the 2022-23 season.

Despite being in his first season in Indian football, Talal believes that the ISL is currently in a positive phase.

“The league is already at a very good stage at the moment – it’s very competitive and it’s evolving every passing season. I guess, in terms of Asian football, the league should keep getting better and the clubs should up a game to become more competitive on the continental stage,” he said in an interview with 90ndstoppage.

Talal is one of the three new foreign additions to Punjab FC's roster in the ongoing season, joining defender Dimitrios Chatziisaias and striker Wilmar Gil. With a career primarily rooted in his home country France, Talal has also played in leagues such as Spain and Greece.

Before making his move to India, he contributed to the success of Greek club AE Kifisia FC during the 2022-23 season, aiding them in securing promotion to the Greece Super League for the first time in the club's history. Notably, during his stint with Ameins FC earlier, Talal shared the pitch with former Chennaiyin FC striker Stiven Mendoza. 

Reflecting on his decision to come to India, Talal mentioned that conversations with friends who had previously played in the league played a pivotal role in making his move straightforward.

“I was looking for a new challenge; it’s a country that continues to develop in terms of football with very good players, that’s what made me come in addition to having only had very positive feedback from players (friends) or mutual friends who previously played in India,” Talal revealed.

Talal has truly shone as one of the standout performers for Punjab FC in the ongoing season, showcasing his quality with three goals and five assists in 15 games. 

Remarkably, his tally of five assists stands as the joint-highest in the league, sharing this distinction with Chennaiyin FC’s Rafael Crivellaro. 

Notably, Talal's impact has been crucial in Punjab FC's success, as he has contributed either a goal or an assist in each of their four victories this season. Impressively, he has found the back of the net in three out of their four wins, underlining his significance for Staikos Vergetis’ side.

Discussing his team's objectives for the ongoing season, Talal revealed that the primary focus for Punjab FC is securing three points in every fixture rather than setting sights on the playoffs. 

“Well, first of all, I want to contribute to the best of my abilities to get three points in each of the remaining matches of the season. And then, we will see whether we make it to the playoffs or not. It’s one mentality of the team that we take on match at a time,” he revealed.

At 26 years old, Talal stands as one of the youngest active foreign players in the league. Expressing his aspirations, he conveyed his desire to prolong his stay in the ISL and build his career in Indian football.

“On a personal level, I want to grow and make a name for myself in Indian football. I have come here at a comparatively young age which means that I want to do more,” he said.