New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC’s defender Rahul Bheke created history after scoring the winning goal against Iraq’s Air Force Club in their AFC Champions League Group B game at the King Fahd Stadium on Monday.
With this win, Mumbai City FC became the first-ever Indian club to win a match in the AFC Champions League and the star performer Rahul Bheke said that the win will work as an inspiration for all Indian footballers.
“This achievement is an inspiration for all Indian footballers. As our coach (Des Buckingham) said, this win will make players believe they belong at this level. Watching the game in how the players played, all the Indian players should believe they do belong,” he told IANS.
“Obviously this is just the beginning because, in the last two years, two ISL clubs have been part of the AFC Champions League group stage. I think ISL has really helped teams and Indian players grow. The Indian players have learned a lot from the foreigners they share the dressing room with and as well as the quality coaches who have come here. From here on, ISL teams will only keep doing well. We have got this victory and in the coming years, it will really help Indian football,” Bheke said when asked about the growth of Indian Football on a global level.
The 31-year-old defender said that ISL has helped Indian football and the players to grow.
“I think huge credit goes to the Indian Super League (ISL). It has helped Indian football and the players to grow. The opportunities and the infrastructure they have provided have helped all Indian footballers and coaches. We are playing with top foreign players and being coached by top foreign coaches, which has really helped us.
“In these eight years, two of the teams have now played the groups stages of the AFC Champions League and it will only keep on growing and it is a great platform for each and every footballer. ISL will remain a big stage to keep on helping Indian football in future,” he said.