Delighted to see the Tamil Nadu basketball team win, says Rene

It was by chance that Chennaiyin FC’s Rene Mihelic and Milan Opacic met at a hotel here, but it was by choice they decided to become thick friends.
Delighted to see the Tamil Nadu basketball team win, says Rene
Rene Mihelic, Chennaiyin FC player


Milan was appointed as the head coach of the Tamil Nadu team for the 68th Senior Basketball Championship and he eventually led them to the title. “He is from Serbia and I am from Slovenia. Earlier, we were all part of the Yugoslavian territory. We speak similar languages. I met him at the hotel during the basketball nationals. We started conversing every day and it helped us become very good friends,” Rene revealed his close bond with the TN coach. 
“I was delighted to see them (TN men) win the championship. He brought the whole squad to the stadium for our home game against FC Pune City. He has been very supportive,” added the 29-year-old. 
After parting ways with Manuele Blasi and Hans Mulder after the conclusion of ISL 3, CFC was in search of a midfielder who could partner Raphael Augusto. When queried about how he penned a contract with the Abhishek Bachchan co-owned unit, the Slovenian said, “My agent from Portugal revealed the manager’s interest in bringing me to the ISL. Coach John Gregory briefed me about the team and the way the league works. He sent me videos of some of the matches from the previous editions. I liked all those and I decided to come to CFC and help them become a champion.” 
Rene has also been in constant touch with his aficionados through social media since the start of the season. He appears to be impressed with the rousing reception that CFC has received from its faithfuls both on and off the field. “We have a wonderful set of fans. They have been filling up the stands during our home matches and sometimes during our training sessions as well. It is an amazing feeling to play in front of them,” he heaped praise on them. 
The league organizers had brought a new regulation ahead of ISL 4, increasing the number of Indian players in the starting line-up. Commenting on the standard of the local players in the league, he added, “The Indian players are developing but there is always scope for improvement. They are now exposed to the training methods of international coaches from England, Spain, etc. It will only help them in shaping their games. I think in the next ten years, India will scale greater heights in football.” 
Speaking on the much awaited ‘South Indian derby’ against Bengaluru FC on February 6, the Maribor-born lad reflected, “It is going to be a very tough game. We beat them 2-1 in Bengaluru and they are going to try and kill us in our home (laughs). We will deliver our best to notch up three points and regain the top spot in the league standings.” 
The best part of the day cropped up after the end our interaction as he thanked everyone for their presence and left the studio with an ever-smiling face. 

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