Slovenian midfielder Amir Dervisevic will be plying his trade outside his native country for the first time in his professional career as he is all set to make his debut for East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL).
The 29-year-old former NK Maribor player is excited to kick-start a new journey with East Bengal and believes that the club has the potential to be successful in the upcoming ISL campaign.
What did Amir Dervisevic say?
“When you play in Europe, you always want to play in the top five leagues. It was complicated because of this COVID, it was different. It was hard. Once you have 10 teams, you can choose and in the next five days, you have nothing. So, I was like three months without football. It was hard. You train alone and not with a team. It’s not the same training with the ball when you don’t have games.
“So I get this contract, they called me. He told me everything about this club and the Indian league. He played with me before at Maribor, Rene Mihelic (ex-Chennaiyin FC and Delhi Dynamos). He was here three or four years ago. He said all the best for this league. So after eight years, I left my country,” the Slovenian told Goal.
Difficulties of ‘bio-bubble’
Dervisevic mentioned that he has heard about the hardships of being in a bio-bubble from his teammates at East Bengal and also suggested that playing without fans at the stadiums will be an unusual experience for him.
“It’s difficult. I heard about this (bubble-life) from my teammates who last year were in some hotel and they could only go out for training. It’s a little bit difficult to stay like this for five-or-six months in the bubble but you have to get used to it. You have nothing to do other than training and back to the hotel. And without fans, it is, how can I say, a little bit stupid but we can do nothing here. It is better if you play in front of the whole stadium and the crowds. It is going to be difficult,” said the former Maribor star.
‘Indian football less tactical than Europe’
The East Bengal midfielder believes that Indian football, from what he has observed so far, is less tactical when compared to what he experienced back in Slovenia.
“It is different. It is hard to talk about it now. We can see when the season starts because we only played two or three friendly matches. It is a little bit less tactical than in Europe. We now have two coaches from Spain. I understand how they want us to play because we had coaches similar to them in Maribor.
“We will see. It is hard to say now. As is said it is a little bit less tactical but I see we have a lot of good players. For me also this is something new. New weather, humidity is high for me. For the first 10 days I couldn’t breathe, I swear. It was hard so I had to get used to it,” said Dervisevic.
Ready for Kolkata Derby
The midfielder suggested that he has done his homework on East Bengal’s arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan. Although he believes that Roy Krishna and co. are a tough nut to crack, he backed East Bengal to get a positive result in the Kolkata derby which is scheduled for November 27, 2021.
“The second match is the derby. ATK Mohun Bagan, for the last two or three seasons, they have been very high on the table. They have good players. I sometimes watch their games on Instagram and Youtube. So you have to prepare. You never know. They are a very serious team. We will see as we are also in very good shape to get some good results. I am really happy to start the season,” the 29-year-old stated.