The young winger has his eyes set on earning his way into Igor Stimac’s Indian national team.

“I am someone who firmly believes in time,” Prasanth Karuthadathkuni tells Khel Now as he begins to open up about the struggles in his career.

With just two assists to his name from his 29 appearances for Kerala Blasters, the winger’s career has been largely rocky. While it is just criticism that mostly comes his way these days, Prasanth is confident that the tide will turn. Despite all his struggles, the 22-year-old is also focused on receiving a national team call-up and getting his name among the best in the country.

“I will definitely receive the fruits for my struggles now,” he says. “My main ambition now is to get in the national team. Then I have a target of my own, which I do not wish to reveal. I want to achieve that and become one of the best players in the country,” he added.

Prasanth’s aplomb – even amidst adversity – is indeed commendable. But, ask Indian football fans to name a few of the country’s up and coming wingers and not many will have the Kozhikode-born player’s name in their list.

Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh and Farukh Choudhary have already made it to the Indian national team, while the likes of Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Redeem Tlang are knocking on Igor Stimac’s door.

Even Prasanth’s teammate Rahul KP might have jumped ahead of him in the queue to become Indian football’s next big thing

But, make no mistake, Prasanth is not all talk. While the former athlete is confident in his skin, he is also his own biggest critic and is not ashamed to admit when someone is better than him.

On What He Can Offer

However, he firmly believes he can offer what no other player in the country can.

“I am sure that I am not at all like the player in the concept of many fans,” he says. “I am very confident about myself. I will admit if someone else is better than me, but I am sure I can be better and do things that others can’t. My time will come.”

No Kerala Blasters player’s inclusion in the squad has been more questioned by the fans than Prasanth’s.

The winger made 10 appearances in the 2017-18 season of the Indian Super League, before making 11 last campaign. This season, the 22-year-old has played each of the Blasters’ eight games so far.

On Being Cyber-Bullied

Subject to bullying on social media often, he has spoken out against cyber-bullying on several occasions.

While the never-ending criticism online used to affect him in his early days, he has grown numb to such jibes and is solely focused on getting joy out of playing football.

“No one can stop me from me playing football,” Prasanth explains. “If people say I am not good enough or I should not be selected in the team, the coaches at Kerala Blasters over the last few years must be fools as well.”

“It was an unknown world for me then, but now I know how things are. If you play one good game, things will go your way and if you have one bad game things will turn against you. All these things don’t affect me anymore,” he said.

“My only concern is how I can improve myself and how much I can help my team. I play football for the of joy it and to help my family. My family knows how much I struggled to be here. I just need to look at them,” he added.

On Eelco Schattorie

It should not come as a shocker that Eelco Schattorie decided to put his trust in an attacking player, who is struggling to get his name among the goalscorers or the assist providers. He has done it in the past.

Redeem Tlang went 17 games without registering a single goal or assist, before scoring his first goal in NorthEast United colours in the side’s playoff semi-final against Bengaluru FC last season.

The 24-year-old has scored two goals for the Highlanders this campaign and Schattorie takes great pride in it.

Having identified similarities between Tlang and Prasanth, the Dutch tactician is keen on sticking with Prasanth Karuthadathkuni.

“When he came in, he told me about Redeem in his team last year,” Prasanth recalls. “He scored just one goal in 18 games, but Eelco kept giving him games because he did the duty given to him. The gaffer has the same feeling about me.”

On Becoming A Star

Despite starting all of the Blasters’ games, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni has just one assist to show for his offensive contributions this season and he, as a winger, knows that is not enough.

He is frustrated with where some of his crosses have landed and not having more numbers to show to back his game. However, he has his sight set on getting involved in the goals before long.

“You become a star only when you score goals and that is what I try to do,” Prasanth told Khel Now after the game against Odisha FC last month.

However, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni went on to make it clear that the sorrow of the players after failing to get the result they want is way more than that of the fans.

“What dejects me the most is to see fans who travelled a long way go back disappointed,” Prasanth tells Khel Now. “But, to wait for a match for one week, to be unable to sleep on the eve of the matchday, only to perform poorly and lose is much more hurtful. I am sure the fans’ disappointment do not match up to ours.”

As he prepares to take leave, Prasanth expresses confidence in the Yellow Army to bounce back. The winger is optimistic that the good days are not far off for Kerala Blasters. 

Prasanth Karuthadathkuni indeed believes in time!