The much-awaited Indian Super League 2015 domestic player draft will begin in a couple of days and the entire contingent of Indian football fans will have its eyes glued on only one man - the player with the highest international goals for India.
Sunil Chhetri is all set to make his debut in the second edition of the lucrative league, and 10 July will decide where he gets to ply his trade with. The India skipper - with 50 goals for the India senior football team - has been sensational for the nation ever since he donned the Team India colours for the first time in 2005.
Ten years seemed to be more than enough to achieve the status of a legend, and it is no surprise that the ISL organisers had to stamp the highest base price of Rs 80 lakh for Chhetri in the domestic player auctions 2015.
"Passionate. Dynamic. New", is how the 30-year-old describes the ISL in three words.
"There were so many things that caught my attention in the first season [of the ISL]. The fact that some really big names came down to be part of the tournament and that our Indian boys could rub shoulders with them was nice to see," the Bengaluru FC forward told the official ISL website.
"The production and marketing of the league was impressive to say the least. It was a great platform for footballers in the country to become household names, something that has been missing for a while," he said.
The former East Bengal and Mohun Bagan man also mentions that the league has given Indian footballers the much-needed exposure to rub shoulders with experienced players from abroad, and thus has been quite welcoming.
"There was a nice blend of foreign players and Indian boys who stepped up and dished out impressive performances [last season]. Elano and [Bernard] Mendy showed the kind of quality they still possess. There was [Iain] Hume who was hardworking and impressive," said Chhetri.
In a freewheeling Twitter chat, the forward was asked about the marquee player he would like to play alongside in the upcoming edition of the league. The answer was Elano (Blumer), who played for Chennaiyin FC.
Apart from the foreigners, Chhetri also mentioned that he was impressed with the performance of Indian players Balwant Singh [Chennaiyin FC] as well as Sandesh Jhingan [Kerala Blasters].
The big question that now remains is which side would Chhetri prefer to play for in ISL 2015. The answer comes straight from the horse's mouth.
"No gut feeling as such! I'll be happy to be picked by any ISL team for now. :)"
Chhetri joins his Bengaluru FC teammates Robin Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rino Anto and Royal Wahingdoh star Jackichand Singh, among others, in the ISL 2015 domestic player draft that will take place this Friday in Mumbai.