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Dias changes tack, trains eyes on Sweden

sports Updated: Jun 09, 2009 00:59 IST
Abhishek Hore

India winger Steven Dias has given up on his American dream, and is now eyeing a move to Sweden, instead of the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US.

Dias, who was earlier linked to DC United, a premier club in the MLS, changed his mind following Bob Houghton's advice. The national coach has always advocated that “Indian players will be better off playing in Europe instead of the United States”.

Europe, especially Portugal and Germany, have been preferred destinations for the national team — for exposure trips — since 2007 and Dias believes it will be easier for him to join the team after trials in clubs based in Sweden.

“Bob also prefers Europe, because, keeping the distance in mind, it is always going to be difficult to join the national team if I go for trials in the US,” said Dias, on the sidelines of the National Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy.

Asked about the clubs that have shown interest in him, the Mahindra United winger said: “I can't name them but my agent (Eddie Rock) has said there are three to four clubs keen on trying me out and will most probably get back to him in a few days time.”

Nine-hour ordeal

Thanks to mismanagement on the part of the local organisers, Maharashtra players had to stand and travel in a general compartment during their journey to Chennai after the Santosh Trophy qualifying phase in Coimbatore.

“It was terrible,” said skipper Dias. “You can't expect us to stand for nine hours during a journey. The organising committee seemed clueless and they didn't book our tickets also. They should have made the arrangements in advance,” Dias said. “What hurt me most was when an expert commented that I used it as an excuse after our loss to Services (in their first quarterfinal league match). It's not true,” he said.