He is a man of many seasons and when we got him talking, he spoke about football, tennis, Delhi and enetrtainment, like he knew it all at the back of his hand. Meet the self-assured and affable Baichung Bhutia, who, with the ongoing Football World Cup, once again has to take the brunt of quips over Indian soccer.
The 37-year-old tells us, “I am used to these jokes every time the FIFA World Cup comes around. So often I have heard these taunts over the years that they have stopped affecting me. I am not perturbed anymore.”
Jokes apart, when we met the sporting icon at the Google India tech event in the Capital, he shared with us his love for our city and more. “I am so used to Delhi as a city. I connect with the Capital through certain work commitments. It is a place I love.”
Football may be the biggest sport in the world and cricket may be a religion in India, but it is the hotshots on the tennis court that the footy star takes an unusual liking to. “In the sports field, tennis, Formula 1 and Olympics interest me. But, tennis beats everything else hands down. I just love catching up on a game of tennis,” he tells us.
And what’s keeping the sport star busy these days? “There is plenty on my plate. I have commitments with United Sikkim (a football club he co-owns), I have my football schools, and then there is work I do as a soccer pundit,” says the footy ace.
The Sikkimese star has had his brush with the entertainment world as a participant on a dance reality show, but he tells us that the glamour world does not interest him anymore. “I’ve done what I had to in entertainment the world. I don’t plan on doing more, but if something cool comes up, I’ll see” he concludes.
There is plenty on my plate. I have commitments with United Sikkim, I have my football schools, and then there is work I do as a soccer pundit
I’m used to jokes on Indian football every time the FIFA World Cup comes around. So often have I heard taunts that they’ve stopped affecting me