Sports Football 03 Mar 2017 Cricket popular in I ...

Cricket popular in India, but we can make football bigger and better: Alan Shearer

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | UJWAL SINGH
Published Mar 3, 2017, 4:20 pm IST
Updated Mar 4, 2017, 12:31 pm IST
Alan Shearer talked about cricket, football's growth in India, EPL golden boot race and his favourite between Ronaldo and Messi.
Alan Shearer is in India to attend 'The Football Movement' 2017 conference organised by The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) together with India on Track (IOT) and the Premier League. (Photo: UKDIT)
 Alan Shearer is in India to attend 'The Football Movement' 2017 conference organised by The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) together with India on Track (IOT) and the Premier League. (Photo: UKDIT)

Mumbai: English Premier League has been graced with some of the best goalscorers over the last two decades. The list boasts some of the biggest names like Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Sergio Aguero, Fernando Torres and so on, but none deadlier than former England and Newcastle striker, Alan Shearer.

Scorer of 260 goals - 72 more than his nearest rival and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney – the England striker terrorised EPL defenders week in, week out in his playing days. So, there’s no one better than the Premier League’s all-time highest goalscorer to discuss about the EPL golden boot race and the contenders.

 

While Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez are leading the scoring charts, Shearer picked Chelsea striker Diego Costa to emerge golden boot winner this season.

“I think Costa (Diego), because he hasn’t played European football this season with Chelsea, which has been a benefit to them and he will get more chances than anyone,” Shearer said.

The striker is in India to attend 'The Football Movement' 2017 conference organised by The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) together with India on Track (IOT) and the Premier League.

 

The former Premier League winner is extremely impressed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s performance in England at the age of 35. The Swedish striker recently scored the winner for Manchester United against Southampton in the League Cup final.

“He (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) hasn’t surprised me with his ability, but what has surprised me is the number of games he has played. The impressive thing with him is not his goals but his hunger and desire to player every week,” said the veteran.

The 46-year-old’s goalscoring record has stood for long, but the former Blackburn striker said, Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane could break the record if he stays fit. 

 

“If they (Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku) stay fit and if they continue to play in Premier League then I think Harry Kane could have an opportunity to go ahead and break the record,” said Shearer.

He admitted that cricket’s popularity in India is a big hindrance to football’s growth, but saw no reason why the game could not grow in India.

“My friends tell me that football will never ever become the No. 1 sport in India, cricket will always remain popular,” said Shearer. “But that does not mean that we cannot work to make football bigger and better, which is why we are here to try and do that.”

 

Like every other football fan in the world, who continue to debate about who is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Shearer too could not hold back from picking one from the two.

“That’s a tough one, because both of them are exceptional and we should appreciate how they both are but I would pick Messi,” he signed off.

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