Against India, other teams are favourites, says de Matos

The India U-17 football coach, ahead of the World Cup, says that players from his team can be at par with other countries if they build to the experience of appearing in a FIFA event.

The members of the Indian football (under-17) team with coach Luis Norton de Matos (in orange T-shirt) and chief sponsor Hero Group's Pawan Munjal (in a blazer) at a function to wish the home team well in New Delhi on Saturday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“Against India, others teams in the group are favourites. We will have to stay organised and execute our plans well to get some good results,” was how coach Luis Norton de Matos described India’s chances in the group matches of the Under-17 FIFA World Cup here.

Speaking at an event to wish the team well ahead of the tournament starting here on October 6, the Portugese coach said, “USA, Columbia and Ghana are all favourites (against India). Our boys have trained hard and are ready to give their best. They all are eager to make the opportunity count. I am sure the experience gained from playing this competition will help these players in times to come.”

Read: Ghana coach sets sights at lifting U-17 title

The coach elaborated by saying, “If India can build on this experience, it can be on par with other countries at this level (under-17) in about 10 years. And after these 8-10 years, I hope seven to eight players from this team should be in the national team.”

Maintaining his stand of not predicting the results of India’s matches, he said, “I don't think much about the results and chances but I know my players will give their best. Sometime you play well and lose. On some days, you play not so well but win. We have to find a balance somewhere in between. But I certainly see this World Cup as a step forward for the future (for Indian football).”

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Amarjit Singh Kiyam, chosen as skipper after a popular vote by the teammates, said, “We are well prepared. We have seen the video recordings of this USA team and we are ready to give our best.”

Talking about the captaincy, the Manipur boy said, “I think everyone in the team is a leader. We all back each other and it is an honour to be chosen as a leader of such a fine group.”

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