The Indian women's football team is about to script history, becoming the first-ever senior side from the country to face-off against Brazil. The Blue Tigresses have traveled to the South American nation for the four-nation International Women's Football Tournament to be held in Manaus.
India will start their campaign with a historic duel against seven-time Copa América champions Brazil on Wednesday, 25th November (26th November at IST).
Ahead of the momentous clash, goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan spoke to the AIFF Media.
"I can't say it's a dream come true because we never dreamed about it. Obviously it's very exciting. We feel incredibly honored and it feels really special that our coaching staff and federation believe that we can play against a tough and a better team like Brazil."
Sharing the same pitch against one of the world's best is a huge privilege. As India continues to make strides in the women's game, the match against Brazil is sure to be one of the biggest occasions in the nation's football history. But Aditi believes the team is not daunted by the big nature of this match.
"There is no fear. We have nothing to lose there. We are not going to hold back and be overwhelmed by the occasion. We just have to prepare ourselves the way we do for other matches and go all out."
India are in uncharted territory as they have never played in or toured South America before. The style of football on the continent is obviously different than in India.
"We have never been to South America. So that's going to be something different and exciting for us. South American football is very different from what we are used to in Asia. We are very excited to give it our best and I'm sure that it's going to be one of the matches we will cherish and remember all our life."
The Indian women's team is in for a challenging tournament in Brazil
The big test for the Blue Tigresses will not only be the formidable side they are up against, but also the climate. The city of Manaus, situated right in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, is infamous for its humidity.
The Brazilian women's side boasts of highly experienced names like Marta, Formiga, Érika, Tamires and Debinha. But the one who stands out is six-time FIFA World Player of the Year and the Seleção's all-time top-scorer Marta.
Not to forget Formiga, who has played over 200 internationals for Brazil. The match against India will be her farewell fixture for the national side.
"Of course the first name that comes to our mind when we talk about Brazil is Marta. She has transformed women's football not just for Brazil but for the entire world. She is one of the players that we have all looked up to. It will truly be an honor to be playing against her and the whole Brazilian team on the same pitch. Hopefully we can have some good conversations about football and life after the match."
India will play two more matches after facing Brazil. The first is against Chile on 28th November and the next is against Venezuela on 1st December.
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