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I-League 2017: FIFA U17 World Cup teams were better than Indian clubs, says Luis Norton De Matos

Soumo Ghosh
1.13K   //    22 Dec 2017, 15:04 IST

Luis Norton de Matos
Luis Norton de Matos

What’s the story?

Indian Arrows head coach Luis Norton De Matos criticised the I-League clubs, saying that the FIFA U17 World Cup teams played better football than the sides from India’s top division. Matos, who had coached India in the U17 World Cup, further went on to state that it is it is the foreign players that give the I-League teams the teeth.

In case you didn’t know…

Matos had coached the India U17 team, during the junior World Cup, where they went on to impress one and all despite losing all their three Group A matches. After the World Cup the India U17 and U19 players were gathered under the banner of Indian Arrows, who are playing the senior club teams from the top division, in order to help develop the young players.

Heart of the matter

A few questions had been raised about the Arrows’ performance in the I-League, as they are placed third from bottom after winning just one and losing two of their matches so far. However, he slammed his critics saying that the other teams are reaping the three points due to the presence of foreign players.

“If you see the match against Minerva, we played so well, but they did not give any chances to us, as they are very good physically. Also they won due to a very good piece of play from one of their foreign stars, Chencho. But our team will learn to deal with this in one or two years,” said Matos.

The Portuguese further went on to state that the teams that his side faced during the U17 World Cup (USA, Colombia and Ghana) were tactically much better than many of the I-League clubs.

“The organisation of the teams in the (U17) World Cup was much better than the teams in the I-League. The I-League has the individual players who can make the difference, but I haven’t seen any team in the I-League that is stronger than Colombia, USA or Ghana,” said Matos.

What’s next?

Its still early in the season for the Indian Arrows, as they have played just three matches. However, they have shown that they can beat a senior side, after they earned a 3-0 win over Chennai City FC in their first game.

Author’s take

The Indian Arrows in a project by the AIFF and is mainly for the development of the players. These players are just teenagers, and although they have lost most of their matches so far, they have shown a lot of promise, and have a lot of time to improve.

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