21 Nov 2019, 18:32 IST

Modou Sougou has been a vital component of the Mumbai City FC wheel over the past couple of seasons (Image courtesy: ISL)
Modou Sougou has been a significant part of the Mumbai Metropolis FC wheel over the previous couple of seasons (Picture courtesy: ISL)

A fortnight in the past, Carlos Pena hammered the ultimate nail in Mumbai Metropolis FC’s coffin, courtesy a purpose that symbolised the indecisive begin to the season the Islanders have endured. Regardless of seemingly discovering themselves adequately positioned to smell out the hazard, Mumbai didn’t seize the second, finally permitting the Spaniard and FC Goa to steal a substantial march on them.

Subsequently, the membership was thrown into turmoil, with coach Jorge Costa, specifically, enduring a torrid time as these in attendance saved throwing tough questions at him. Thus, at such a juncture, one would’ve anticipated the gamers to barely retreat into their shell and bide their time earlier than a chance got here calling.

But, on a sultry afternoon in Navi Mumbai, Modou Sougou failed to present in to these aforementioned notions as he painted an image of positivity amid the gloom engulfing the membership. The Senegalese exuded confidence as he sat jovially with a cup of espresso and opened up on quite a lot of matters. 

In an unique chat with Trevino, he talked concerning the significance of Mumbai Metropolis’s subsequent recreation in opposition to NorthEast United on the 27th of November. He mentioned,

A very powerful factor for us is the sport in Guwahati. We now have labored laborious within the worldwide break and tried to get well as many gamers as doable. And, we might be going to Guwahati for the three factors. If we get it, it will likely be superb for us.

When requested about what elements he felt the group needed to concentrate on after the worldwide break, he replied that the facet wanted to showcase the requisite mentality to remain collectively and maintain working laborious, traits that stay non-negotiable, regardless of the quite a few adjustments the game has undergone.

The crux of the dialog with Sougou although, revolved round his view on how Indian soccer had progressed up to now couple of years. A veteran of assorted leagues throughout the globe, the Senegalese has seen his justifiable share of various environments, thereby offering a myriad perspective on what illnesses at present plague the nation’s footballing reserves. He quipped,

Earlier, the Indian soccer gamers didn’t focus as laborious on coaching. However, that has modified regularly as a result of on the finish of the day, you possibly can solely carry out in addition to you prepare. Moreover, with overseas coaches within the league, they’ve gotten higher tactically, that means that they can contribute with out the ball as nicely, which wasn’t notably the case earlier. Additionally, there must be extra professionalism in soccer so that folks can take it up full time and dedicate all their efforts in direction of it.

To drive his level house, Sougou singled out Raynier Fernandes for reward, whereby he said the Indian had added additional strings to his bow, courtesy his propensity to studiously pay attention and perceive the elements associated to off-the-ball positioning. The ahead additionally opined that if Raynier continued on the same upward trajectory, he may develop into one of many high gamers within the nation.

Sougou was all praise for Raynier Fernandes (Image courtesy: ISL)
Sougou was all reward for Raynier Fernandes (Picture courtesy: ISL)

A standard thread by most of Sougou’s concepts revolved across the skill to own a mentality powerful sufficient to outlive something the game may throw at him. And, it wasn’t an excessive amount of of a shock, contemplating the upbringing he had had in Senegal, the place there’s a plethora of competitors for changing into an expert footballer.

Recalling his early years, he remarked,

For us, it’s a dream to play in Europe as professionals. In Senegal, after faculty, you begin enjoying soccer and even I did so, going to completely different cities to play. Nevertheless, it wasn’t straightforward as a result of I used to be too small and thin as in comparison with a few of my friends, though I used to be higher technically. However, I saved working laborious and I used to be fortunate that I acquired the chance to symbolize my nation and the golf equipment I did.

Consequently, that perspective of by no means letting down one’s guard and all the time being well-equipped to deal with challenges has been ingrained into Sougou, that means that he has discovered it simpler to acclimatise himself to completely different environment.

But, he was fast to level out that his sojourn on the western coast of India stays unparalleled. He mentioned,

Mumbai is like house for me. I like the membership and that was one of many predominant causes I signed up for an additional season. All of us keep collectively right here and that’s nice for integration. Regardless of being 1000’s of miles away from house, I by no means really feel so due to the wholesome atmosphere.

Nevertheless, he did have a slight grievance, whereby he issued the Mumbai Metropolis followers a rallying name, asking them to come back out and help the facet in large numbers on the Mumbai Soccer Enviornment.

The membership and its followers have a two-way relationship. Each rely upon one another and the tighter the relation is, the higher it’s for each. It’s unhappy to see that the bottom shouldn’t be getting crammed to capability and I urge all our followers to come back to our house matches and pack it to the brim, thereby permitting both to reap the advantages of the fantastic relationship we have now. Let’s create an environment related to what’s current at Anfield.

Thus, by an illuminating dialog, Sougou had highlighted the attributes which have made him an irresistible a part of the Mumbai Metropolis equipment.

Sougou is just as influential off the pitch
Sougou is simply as influential off the pitch

Blessed with an elite mentality and a bent to all the time continue learning, the Senegalese has supplied budding Indian footballers with the best template. And, regardless that he hasn’t been capable of contribute a lot this season, owing to an ongoing damage, he has actually been as influential off the pitch, particularly when the membership has been fervently trying to find inspiration.

Most significantly although, Sougou, regardless of having plied his commerce within the high leagues throughout Europe, not often gives the look of somebody who’s too occupied with himself, thereby prompting younger footballers to distance themselves from him. Quite the opposite, his charming character solely paves the best way for aspiring gamers to select his brains and in the end, assist either side develop.

As for his method to the sport, not many are capable of stare down the barrel and but continue to exist in a fashion that makes the duty appear a lot much less arduous than it may be.

In spite of everything, when requested what he wished to realize within the remaining 14 matches, he shortly corrected the question with a broad grin, stating that there have been 17 matches nonetheless left this time period.

And, that, simply embodied Modou Sougou in a microcosm, didn’t it?    

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