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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Will Enter the Field Like Lions, Says India Coach Luis Norton de Matos

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Will Enter the Field Like Lions, Says India Coach Luis Norton de Matos.

Abhimanyu Sen | News18 Sports

Updated:September 26, 2017, 8:54 PM IST
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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Will Enter the Field Like Lions, Says India Coach Luis Norton de Matos
Special Arrangement
New Delhi: The 17th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup is less than a fortnight away and the AIFF President Praful Patel is confident that the country is ready to host the showpiece event which will feature 24 nations from all over the world.

“The country is ready to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup. All the six venues are ready as per the requirements of FIFA. The time of reckoning has come for Indian football and we are proud to announce that the stage is set for the World Cup” said Patel.

Speaking to the media in the national capital on Tuesday, Patel emphasised that the AIFF did all they could their end to help the team and the organisers.

"We committed ourselves to build the best possible team. The scouting was done very professionally. The coach had full liberty and absolutely no compromises have been made."

The AIFF President added that with the World Cup being held in India, it would help the country better its infrastructure. Patel said, “After the World Cup is over Indian football infrastructure will be made richer by world class stadiums. We have been co-operative with the LOC.”

“We have suffered with respect to infrastructure for football in the country.”

Patel further added that the AIFF would ask Portugese coach Luis Norton de Matos to continue to work with the U-17 squad post the World Cup in a bid to help the team grow to their true potential.

The Portugese who took over the reigns of the India U-17 team in February, said he was happy with the team’s performance and preparation in the lead up to the 24 team tournament.

“The AIFF will ask and hopes that the coach Matos can continue with the team even after the World Cup and help groom them for the future.”

“This is possibly the strongest team India could have fielded at this World Cup. The players are motivated and ready,” said de Matos.

The India team which has gone through three years of rigorous training and preparation, though is not at the same level as nations like Spain, Germany, Brazil or the African nations, all of
whom are known to do well in this age group.

The Portugese coach pointed out that more often than not the traditional powerhouses of world football start their scouting processes when they players are below the age of ten.

“Most of the teams that are coming to India this October have had their core group play together for close to a decade,” de Matos told the media.

“The players have improved a lot from the experiences they have gained through the tours to Europe and South America,” de Matos added.

When asked about if his band of boys were ready to deal with big occasion and the pressures that come along with it, the Portugese said, “In football there are no impossibilities and we will enter the field like lions to try and win the game."

The India U-17 team who arrived in the national capital on Tuesday, had a morale boosting result on their last tour to South America when they held Chile to a 1-1 draw in Mexico City, a result that both de Matos and Patel were very impressed with.

“In football, with three games every three days, anything can happen. On a good day we can create a lot of problems for the bigger teams,” de Matos concluded.
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