FIFA U-17 World Cup - India legend Chuni Goswami: We should have been there in the Chile World Cup as the champions of the continent

Chuni Goswami is counted amongst India’s greatest ever footballers

Chuni Goswami graced the momentous occasion as India took over from Chile officially, as the hosts of the U-17 World Cup to be held in 2017. The legendary Indian footballer who is counted as arguably the greatest ever to step on the field in Indian colours spoke highly of U-17 head coach Nicolai Adam and the team he is building.

The 77-year-old who was a star in the 1950’s and 1960’s, which was the golden period of Indian football, also mentioned that it was unfortunate that the side could not make it to the World Cup in Chile back in 1962 when they were arguably the best side in Asia.

Q: Thoughts on the U-17 FIFA World Cup to be held in India?

Chuni: It is certainly a great time to rise to the occasion, also I must confess that it is a great challenge for all of us to do it well and conform with the standards that have been set in different parts of the world. I hear that our youngsters are doing well under our new German coach and although we have already qualified as the host nation, we are a good side nevertheless and I am confident that we can do well in the tournament. Our coach Nicolai Adam is well experienced and we believe in our young talents.
Q: Do you feel that the squad you played with back then was one of the finest Indian football team’s ever?
Chuni: I go by the statistics and the performance of other teams in that period. In 1960's we were the champions of Asia for three years 1962, ‘63 and ‘64 and luckily I was the captain on all three occasions. I must mention the names of other great players like P.K. Banerjee, Tulsidas Balram, Arun Ghosh, Jarnail Singh, Peter Thangaraj and the rest. Some of them are with us and some of them have left for heavenly abode. It would have been impossible for me to win anything without them. You have to get at least five or six players, who are world class or at least Asia class players to do well in the tournament.
Q: Do you feel that side should have played the World Cup?
Chuni: Logically we should have been there in the Chile World Cup in 1962 as the champions of the continent and we had beaten South Korea thrice in that period. We had beaten all among Korea, Japan, Arab (UAE) and Vietnam and on the basis of our international performance, we should have been there definitely.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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