Kerala Blasters’ Josue Currais defies everything you imagine about a foreign player plying his trade in the Indian football leagues. At 23, the Spanish midfielder is only entering the best stages of his playing career and, unlike the veterans who come to the country for one final bout before hanging up their boots, ‘Josu’ hopes to make a career here in the country. “I love it here in India,” he says, with an infectious smile that has made him an instant hit amongst Blasters’ fans.
Sportstar caught up with Josue for a quick chat on why he chose to come back to India and his future plans in the country.
Question: This is your second season with Kerala Blasters and Indian Super League. What was so attractive about Indian football that you decided to come back?
Joshua: The football here; the way we play here in the Indian Super League (ISL). The fans played a big part too in me wanting to come back. Everybody made me feel like it’s my second home. The club also was very clear that they wanted me back.
Kerala Blasters’ fans have adopted you as one of their own and have started calling you ‘Josuttan’. Were you surprised by number of people in the stadium? Was this the impression you had of Indian football?
I was really surprised because I didn’t know anything about India before coming here. I am really grateful for the support I have received from the fans.
Earlier, you had expressed an interest in playing for a long term here in India and possibly play in the I-League. At 23, you still have a lot of playing years left. Why are you keen on a early-career stint in India?
Some I-League clubs have shown interest in me. But nothing is serious yet. It’s too early to say anything. I feel very comfortable, and people love me, here. So why not? Why not make my career here in India? In Spain things are very difficult for players. In Spain, if you are not playing in the top division you have no money for a living and you do not get a lot of chances to shine.
Tell us more about your time in Barcelona. How much of a role did La Masia play in your footballing education?
To play for Barcelona and La Masia was not just my dream, but my family’s as well. I was 15-16 that time and I’m really happy I did that. It opened the doors for my career. Wherever I went, I was getting referred to as the guy who played for Barcelona. It was the best time of my life.
In the first season we saw you play in the midfield yet this season you have started as a left-back? What is your favoured position and are you finding it difficult to be part of the defence?
For me, the principle will always be to play. It doesn’t matter what position I’m playing as long as I’m in the squad. I feel comfortable as a left-back and as a midfielder. I am willing to do whatever the coach asks me to do. At Barcelona and Espanyol I played as a left-back and only when I moved to Finland did I change my position.
Kerala has been struggling for goals this season. What do you think is the major reason?
First game was difficult for us to score. But after that we have started scoring. I think we are getting better and I’m sure more will come.
Your tattoo of ‘Lord Ganesha’ on your right-arm has grabbed a lot attention. What’s the story behind it?
When I went home after last season, I was initially unsure whether I’ll come back here. So, I wanted to do something special to show my love for India, and our fans who treated me well here. That’s how I got this.