The former German international was also impressed by the talent of Kerala Blasters and India midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad.

Patrick Owomoyela, the former Borussia Dortmund and German football stalwart graced Kochi with his presence in yesterday’s goalless draw between Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters. Today, Khel Now managed to notch an exclusive interview with the former defender, in which he spoke about various issues.

Firstly, he was asked how his experience was whilst watching his first football game in India yesterday, to which he replied, “Yes, it was fantastic. Being in the stadium, seeing the excitement of fans, the passion they have for football, the passion they have for their team. I liked it and I hope to see more of the culture now, since I got to taste the football culture here in Kerala. I want to see the South Indian culture now and am looking forward to do that next.”

Watch: Patrick Owomoyela’s exclusive interview with Khel Now

Thoughts on Sahal Abdul Samad

Despite the game ending up in a draw yesterday, pATRICK Owomoyela was particularly impressed with one player he witnessed on the field. He remarked, “There was one player who was very technical. He had a lot of skills with the ball. I think it was Number 18 (Sahal Abdul Samad). It was fantastic what he could do with the ball. Every time he had the ball the fans were roaring.”

What Next For Indian Football

The Indian Super League has gained immense prominence in the past few years and accordingly the 40-year-old was asked about his thoughts regarding what could be the next step for Indian football. He stated, “I think it’s a long-term investment. What clubs should do is really look into the youth development and make sure that the basics at the grassroots levels are increasing and developing. That’s where you set the base, where you can get a good quality outcome after a couple of years.

“It’s not about buying quality, but it is about developing quality. That should be the interest of football in general. So, I think that is the next step. Youth development is something out of which Indian football can really get out something.”

Role For Borussia Dortmund In India

As Owomoyela spoke about enhancing the quality of football at the youth levels, his former club Borussia Dortmund have historically been synonymous with this culture and brand of football.

He was asked whether they could come in and help the Indian clubs in some way in this exercise, to which the former BVB star answered, “Of course, that’s something we do with our partners. We share our experience, we share our expertise. What we do is that we could bring coaches here, bring academies here and show how it is done in Dortmund. That’s something Indian football can get something out of. To learn what Borussia Dortmund have done, why we are successful with our youth development and why we have so many upcoming talents from our own academy.”

Most recently though, there have been reports regarding a tie-up between Borussia Dortmund and Kerala Blasters. He was quizzed regarding this potential move and Owomoyela said, “Potentially yes, from seeing the fan culture that is something very similar between Kerala Blasters and Borussia Dortmund. But, of course, we are looking for a partner who has the same DNA about youth development. We can participate in something and get something out of both ends.

There is potential there, but nothing is decided yet. We are looking for a partner who has a sustainable youth development and fan-engagement and activities that Borussia Dortmund has on their side as well.”

Patrick Owomoyela is in India for a Bundesliga promotional tour for a few days.