Indian U-17 team is on the same level as Brazil, says Bhaichung Bhutia
India will host the U-17 World Cup next year.
If you are a fan of Indian football, it would be impossible for you not to be aware of Bhaichung Bhutia and his exploits. The former Indian National team captain, who is now the head of the AIFF Technical Committee has won many laurels on the field and is rightly seen as a legend of the game.
It is, therefore, pertinent to note that his comments carry a lot of weight behind them. As such, his words on the Indian Under 17 team, which went down fighting against a superior Brazil side in the BRICS Cup last month, will encourage a lot of fans who are looking forward to the FIFA Under 17 World Cup which will be hosted by India next year.
“We saw the Indian U-17 World Cup team play against Brazil and some of the Indian players were on the same page as the Brazilian players, if not better than them,” said Bhutia. He also added, “If you don’t play matches you don’t develop into a better player it is as simple as that.”
Although the young colts could not make it to the knockout stages of the tournament, yet the likes of Komal Thatal and Joysana Singh have managed to impress one and all with their skills. Bhutia’s compliments will no doubt give them a massive boost in confidence.
“The U-17 World Cup squad is the first step that we have to focus on apart from working on grassroots football. We also have to see that exposure is provided equally to all youth age Indian teams,” declared the former East Bengal forward.
AIFF president Prafulla Patel also had words of encouragement for the Under 17 team, who have been on exposure trips to Europe and America under the tutelage of Nicolai Adam.
“Our Indian team plays under the best coaches and they are getting a chance to progress and develop in a competitive environment,” he stated in an AIFF statement. “The U-17 World Cup squad is brushing shoulder against some of the best teams in youth football. This is a quantum change in the development of Indian football,” he went on to add.
The U-17 FIFA World Cup kicks off from 6th October 2017 and will continue until the 28th.