Mar 3, 2017 08:00:00
The former Finland international is entering the final years of his career, but insists that he is not ready to leave football just yet
Mikael Forssell helped Chelsea win their first title in 50 years, but is currently without a club after leaving Finish giants HJK, his boyhood club, in the winter.
Now 35-years-old, Forssell was part of the group that experienced life both before and after the Roman Abramovich takeover at Stamford Bridge – along with the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.
He ultimately departed for Birmingham City before playing in Germany, and Forssell believes that he has plenty of football left in him as he finds himself without a team for the first time in his career.
"I left HJK Helsinki with the club having not won the title now for two consecutive years," Forssell told Goal. "The club decided to stick with the current manager so we departed ways.
"For me it was about getting more time on the pitch to enjoy football somewhere else. I have not retired and will most likely continue playing. I had opportunities to move abroad in January but due to writing my Bachelor Degree final thesis I could not leave with the family on such a short notice. But everything is still open for me."
On top of managing his degree, Forssell has been increasingly called upon to help with family life, as his wife's modelling career goes from strength to strength, with two children to look after.
Despite a desire to remain in the game, the attacker is preparing for life away from the pitch and he wants as many qualifications in sports management as possible, with the ambition of helping improve football in his home country.
"I was speaking to people in football, especially in Finland," he added. "The conclusion was that there is a lack of professionalism regarding running clubs and operating both their financial and marketing sectors.
"It is currently on an amateur level compared to the Premier League, with the exception of a couple clubs. I had the possibility to study a Bachelor's Degree through FifPro in a Danish University that was 100% online. So I could keep playing football while studying on my own time.
"It was hard to combine that with family and football but I am proud that I have managed to pull through. I am grateful for the program and would recommend it to everyone in the game. I am starting my Masters Degree in May in a university in Madrid, which will also be online."
Forssell made a huge impact at Birmingham City upon leaving Chelsea, but he still regards his days in west London as the proudest part of his career.
"I am a massive fan of Chelsea! It was my first club abroad and, as said earlier, I made many highlights of my career at the club. Unfortunately, due to football, I haven't had the chance to visit Stamford Bridge yet but will definitively do that in the future.
"I am fortunate to have had many great times in football with its ups and downs, but I would pick up my time at Chelsea as my best period," he continued. "I saw the change from 1998-2005 to Abramovich coming in, bringing in new players and Mourinho.
"I had great times in Birmingham City and also my time playing in Germany and scoring goals for Finland. Being part of winning the Premier League in 2005 was amazing.
"I had just come back from injury and didn't play a massive role but it is still a highlight in my career. Of course, simply scoring goals at Stamford Bridge was a dream come true."