FIFA U-17 WC: We have lacked a world-class platform, says Lyngdoh

Eugeneson Lyngdoh believes India needs to build on the hype, the media attention, and the infrastructure provided as there is a lot of football talent in the country.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh feels the FIFA U-17 World Cup is a massive opportunity for the boys as they could get called up by a big club if they perform well.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

A good show by the Indian team in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup could bring big rewards, Eugeneson Lyngdoh believes. Lyngdoh, a key figure in the senior national football team, called on the youngsters to make it count. “Scouts from all over the world will be watching the FIFA U-17 World Cup. If the boys perform well, they could get called up by a big club. This is a massive opportunity for them,” Lyngdoh said, at a media interaction here on Monday.

Asked if any player impressed him, Lyngdoh replied, “The goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, Komal Thatal and striker Aniket Jadhav did very well against USA."

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Hosting this mega-event is a boon for the sport in the country, Lyngdoh said. “This tournament has laid a great foundation for Indian football. We need to build on the hype, the media attention, and the infrastructure provided to us. There is a lot of talent in India. It’s just that we have lacked a world-class platform, until now," he said.

The senior Indian team, meanwhile, takes on Macau in an 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification fixture here on Wednesday. Having defeated the same opponent 2-0 in the first round of Group ‘A’ outings last month, India starts as the favourite. “Macau is a good side. We can’t take them lightly. They are very compact. We need to break them down quickly and
get an early goal,” he said.

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The 31-year-old, who recently signed for Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) after spending three fruitful seasons with Bengaluru FC (BFC), stated, “Normally, I go to my Bengaluru home after training and playing a match, but this time, I'm off to Kolkata. I thank the BFC team
management, (former coach) Ashley Westwood, and the fans for making me the player I am today. Having said that, as a professional footballer, I’m now determined to do well for ATK,” he said.