Important for a player to play for National squad: Carlos

The players who play for Delhi Dynamos have to represent the country. Of course, they have to go. It is important for the National squad. I will never say no to the National squad, says the Brazilian.

Roberto Carlos says, country is important than club.   -  Sandeep Saxena

In the backdrop of the tussle between National chief coach Stephen Constantine and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) over the release of players from the Indian Super League (ISL) to do National duty, Delhi Dynamos coach and legendary Brazilian star Roberto Carlos said he was in favour of a player playing for his own country.

India’s preparation for its away World Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan on October 8 has received a setback following some ISL teams’ apparent reluctance to let go the Indian players for international engagements. India’s next World Cup qualifying matches against Oman (in Muscat on October 13) and Guam (in Delhi on November 12) will also clash with the ISL schedule.

According to FIFA rules, a club is supposed to release a player for National duty four days ahead of the country’s match. The ISL is starting on October 3 and even if the teams release the Indian players four days ahead of the October 8 match, practically they will be able to train together for the National team for only two days.

However, Carlos said he would not mind releasing Robin Singh, Sehnaj Singh and Francis Fernandes to play for India. “The players who play for Delhi Dynamos have to represent the country. Of course, they have to go. It is important for the National squad. I will never say no to the National squad. The most important thing for a player is to get to the National squad. In Delhi, there are three players. They have to go,” said Carlos at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Carlos preferred not to comment on the impact of the ISL on the National camp in the run-up to the World Cup qualifier. “This is a problem between the federation and the coach. About my team, I am ready to answer. If I am there, when I am there, I will talk about it.”

Carlos, nevertheless, said ISL would leave its good effects on the Indian players, who could pick up winning habits from their overseas colleagues. “The foreigners will teach the Indian players how to have the mentality of a winner. They have to go on the pitch, play and win. Here in India sometimes they think, ‘Oh I will go and wear National squad jersey.’ What for? What’s the importance of playing for your country? They have to have goals, goals to be the champion to represent your country in the World cup. This is what I have done with my National squad for 17 years. Each training session was a gain, each gain was a win.

“What is the position of India in the FIFA ranking? 155? We can make it better – 90, 80. That’s why I have brought these players to teach them (Indians) to get there. It is not enough to be good. You have to win and win.”

Meanwhile, Dynamos announced the singing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Vinicius Ferreira de Souza. The 26-year-old, who has previously played for Brazilian club Ponte Preta, is known to have a good speed, stamina and a fine left-foot. “I am willing to play as much as I can. I can play on the right side as well. I am good at precision passes. I work to shoot the ball at the goal. Hopefully, I score a few,” said Vinicius, who is one of the finest footvolley players in the world with six Brazilian crowns and three World titles to his credit.

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