His passion for the game of football is no secret, but India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli wants to go further with his love for the beautiful game and wishes to involve himself on a larger scale in improving the standard of the game in India post retirement.

Co-owner of FC Goa in the Indian Super League, Kohli feels the game has a lot of potential in the country and can actually reach the next level. And he wants to help in this endeavour once he hangs his boots.

“Football has always intrigued me. I love it. I see myself being involved more, and at a larger scale. Football has huge potential in India and I want to see it grow to a great level. That would be amazing,” he told FIFA.com.

With the number of countries in the 2026 edition of the World Cup increased to 48, quite a few teams will be looking to make it to the showpiece event. And Kohli believes the day isn’t far when the Indians will also be playing in the football World Cup.

“Honestly, not far off. We have improved drastically in our football over the last three-four years. With new talent coming in to make the difference, and our skipper Sunil Chhetri leading the team with amazing composure and inspiration, I see us qualifying very soon for the World Cup,” he said.

The cricket captain feels it is a shame that someone as talented as Chhetri hasn’t been able to play on the greatest stage.

“It’s a sad fact to realise, especially after all that he’s done for the nation. If anyone deserves it, it’s him. And the team should rally behind that motivation and qualify, and dedicate it to him. He’s an absolute champion and an inspirational human being,” the batsman said.