Ex-Newcastle defender links up with Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar

Peter Ramage
Peter Ramage
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Peter Ramage is readying himself for the experience of a lifetime – in India.

The experienced defender – who started his career at Newcastle United – has signed for Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters.

And the 31-year-old – who spent last season at Barnsley – will this week make the 5,100-mile journey to Kochi, in south west India.

Ramage is following in the footsteps of his former Newcastled team-mate Michael Chopra, who helped Kerala, co-owned by legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar, reach the inaugural final of the ISL late last year.

A number of big names, including Roberto Carlos and Nicolas Anelka, have been recruited by Indian teams.

“From what I’ve been hearing, the league are looking to bring in established players at a crossroads in their career,” said Ramage.

I’ve had 52,000 passionate Geordies baying for blood, and walking out at Selhurst (Park) is just as intimidating.

Peter Ramage

“Simao, the Portuguese winger, Luisao, the Brazilian centre half – these are players coming to the ends of their careers, but still have a lot to offer.

“They’re legends of the game and will still demand the same level they had a couple of years ago, so it’s only going to get better and more competitive.

“I’ve always wanted to play abroad, but I never thought it was going to be India.

“Roberto Carlos has been – and still is – one of the best left backs in the world.

“Nicolas Anelka is still fantastic, and has gone for a hell of a lot of money in his time. The season before last, he was still scoring in the Premier League.

“To pit my wits against these kinds of players is something that I’m relishing.”

Ramage spent the early part of his career at Newcastle before leaving for Queens Park Rangers in 2008, and he feels the experience of playing at St James’s Park will stand him in good stead for the ISL.

“I can’t wait,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve had 52,000 passionate Geordies baying for blood, and walking out at Selhurst (Park) is just as intimidating.

“I’m pretty much used to it, but I do think it will be a different experience. It’s one I’m really looking forward to.”