Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Joni Kauko, the central midfielder who represented Finland in Euro 2020 and joined Indian Super League (ISL) soon after their campaign ended, has set himself a target for his inaugural season in India.
ISL’s biggest signing so far wants to help his new club ATK Mohun Bagan win the title in the next season.
Last season in the ISL, Antonio Lopez Habas’ men fell just short of winning the League Shield as well as the ISL trophy. Kauko doesn’t want a repeat of that.
“The only goal this season will be to win the championship. That’s the main thing. I think that’s one of the reasons… I can be one of those guys who helps bring the trophy home,” the Finn was quoted as saying by the ISL.
The 30-year-old said the desire to meet new people, learn about new culture has lured him to India.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I was kind of someone who wanted to experience different kinds of things. Since I got older, I started a little bit of travelling around the globe. I was always keen on learning about new cultures, new languages, meeting new people. That was one of the biggest reasons. And after I heard, ATK Mohun Bagan were interested, we started to negotiate. Then I realised it was going to happen,” he was quoted as saying by the ISL on Tuesday.
“Everything is looking good. I am really excited to join the club. New culture, new things. I think I will get used to it in time,” he added.
Kauko is also looking forward to the renowned Kolkata derby. Last season, ATK Mohun Bagan won both the derbies convincingly against SC East Bengal.
“I have heard about it. It’s the same in Finland. We have two teams from the same town. So, I am used to this rivalry. Those are the best games to play, there is always something special. There is a lot of tension between fans, between players. Positions on the table don’t matter. It’s always a new game. Anything can happen in those games. I am really excited as to what is going to happen,” he said.
Kauko’s acquisition is considered one of the biggest in Indian football. When asked if it was something putting him under pressure, he nonchalantly replied: “I don’t really care about that so much. It is what it is. If somebody sees it that way, I am cool with that. No problem for me.”