Bhutia: 'Indian youth players on par with Brazilians'

Former India captain Baichung Bhutia believes some players of the India U-17 World Cup squad were 'on the same page as the Brazilian players, if not better than them'.

Baichung Bhutia is the chairman of AIFF’s technical committee.   -  PTI

All India Football Federation president Praful Patel dubbed the Indian U-17 World Cup squad as a “quantum change in development of Indian football.”

Speaking on the sidelines of FIFA RDO Shaji Prabhakaran’s book launch ‘Back To The Roots,’ the AIFF president said, “Our Indian team plays under the best coaches and they are getting a chance to progress and develop in a competitive environment. The U-17 World Cup squad is brushing shoulders against some of the best teams in youth football. This is a quantum change in the development of Indian football.”

The Indian U-17 World Cup squad has squared-off against teams such as Brazil, Russia, Iran, Korea Republic, Luxembourg, Norway and South Africa to name a few and have proved time after time that Nicolai Adam’s boys are no pushovers when it comes to high-intensity matches against world-class teams.

Former India captain Baichung Bhutia, also the chairman of AIFF’s technical committee said, “We saw the Indian U-17 World Cup team play against Brazil and some of the Indian players were on the same page as the Brazilian players, if not better than them.”

“If you don’t play matches you don’t develop into a better player it is as simple as that,” he maintained. “The U-17 World Cup squad is the first step that we have to focus on apart from working on grassroots football. We also have to see that exposure is provided equally to all Indian youth teams.”