FIFA U-17 World Cup: Favourites Chile visit temple to prepare for tournament in India
The Chile U-17 team will head to India later this year for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and are seemingly leaving no stone unturned in their quest to lift their first U-17 World Cup in October.
Hernan Caputto's team are on a friendly match spree at the moment. La Rojitas have played Mexico, Colombia, India and the United States in the month of August, amping up their match practice ahead of the main event. Not content with only that, Chile U-17s are not leaving any loose ends, visiting a temple to get a feel of the Indian Hindu culture.
Ahead of his team's friendly match in Portland against the US yesterday, Caputto took his charges to the Balaji Temple in Portland which is backed by the HECSA and considered as a Hindu religious, cultural and educational centre in North America.
"After the training on Friday afternoon (Chilean night), the national delegation turned aside a couple of kilometers from the Nike sports complex to get to know the temple and, in a way, to know up close the importance of the cultural values of India, a country that in less than fifty-five days, this group of young people will arrive in Calcutta, called "The city of joy", due to the kindness of its inhabitants," said a report on the Chilean FA's official website. "Cordiality that became evident once the group of selected Under 17s was received by the religious community who invited them to know the mandir or temple and explain in a summarized way how is the life of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
"Although the preamble of the ceremony had already begun, prays or Praarthana - heard from a kind of living room located at the entrance of the temple - had to be done before entering as a sign of respect."
Chile will set up base in Kolkata where they will play England and Iraq in the group stage. Their final group stage game against Mexico is in Guwahati. Caputto's aim to hand his players an exposure to Indian culture will likely ensure they don't encounter a culture shock in India during the World Cup.
La Rojita were beaten by the US yesterday in Portland as LA Galaxy's Ulysses Lanez scored the winner, but they have now faced four teams that will play at the 2017 U-17 World Cup, standing themselves in good stead for the big event.
Chile under Caputto can be considered dark horses for the U-17 World Cup, but their methods of preparation for the World Cup suggest that they have serious ambitions of reaching the final.