India will take time to build a quality side, says Luis Garcia

Former Liverpool player Luis Garcia felt that football awareness has only grown in India in the past few years.

"Even if you have the talent, we must remember that it takes time for a team to be built," Garcia said.   -  AFP

Former Spanish World Cup star Luis Garcia is convinced that Indian football is on the right track. “I have been following India's progress after having first come here in 2014. Much work has been done in this field, especially for the youth,” he told Sportstar on Thursday.

Garcia is in India to promote the BARCA Academy’s Asia Pacific Cup to be hosted by Barca Academy India at The Heritage Xperiential Learning School in Gurugram from Friday.

In Garcia's opinion, Indian football has improved since the last time he visited. “I have seen some quality players who are technically sound too. Even if you have the talent, we must remember that it takes time for a team to be built. You need a pool of 1000 very good players to pick the best from. Experience also counts but you have to begin early to raise a quality side,” he noted.

Garcia is in India to promote the BARCA Academy’s Asia Pacific Cup.   -  PTI

 

Garcia praised India's efforts which began earnestly with the hosting of the World Cup for under-17. “You can improve only when you compete. When you compete you understand the standard of the other teams too. In my view, a player must get one good competitive match every week. You play different teams and pick up different tactics. This trend has to begin at the grassroot level.”

Read: Asian Cup performance will have huge impact on Indian football, says Gurpreet

Appreciating Spain's performance at the 2018 World Cup, Garcia said, “Then we thought no one played better football than them but see how the others improved at the last World Cup. The players have become more professional, faster and stronger. Skills are part of the game, but what matters is finishing. You have to have good strikers to win. The game has become faster as we saw at the World Cup in Russia.”

Barcelona FC board member Pau Vilanova Vila-Abadal observed, “It is heartening to see how India has embraced us. We are very excited to host the first ever Barça Academy Cup Asia Pacific here. It demonstrates that India is very well prepared to host top quality international football events.”

The premier intra Barca Academy APC tournament will see 48 teams from Australia, Japan, China, Spain, Singapore and India competing against each other in categories under 9, Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15, with over 500 players participating.