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FIFA Under 17 World Cup: Will Show That We Can Compete Against the Best, Says India Coach Luis Norton de Matos

File image of India Under 17 Football team. (AIFF Images)

File image of India Under 17 Football team. (AIFF Images)

With less than 100 days to go for the first ever FIFA World Cup to be hosted by India, head coach of the Indian U-17 World Cup Team Luis Norton de Matos believes that the hosts are looking forward to make an impression once the World Cup kicks-off in October.

New Delhi: With less than 100 days to go for the first ever FIFA World Cup to be hosted by India, head coach of the Indian U-17 World Cup Team Luis Norton de Matos believes that the hosts are looking forward to make an impression once the World Cup kicks-off in October.

Speaking at a Press Conference in the Capital on Thursday, the Portuguese Head Coach said: "The Team has progressed a lot and with less than 2.5 months to go, the squad will be giving their best in preparation. We are very confident going into the World Cup."

“However, competition changes everything, there is added pressure, and then it depends how the Players will react. The next coming months will be tough because the players will have to concentrate hard, but as a Team we cannot be more confident going into the first game, because I believe we can make an impression”, Matos added.

India has been drawn into Group A of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India along with United States of America (USA), Colombia and Ghana. The hosts will clash swords against USA on October 06, before facing Colombia on October 09 and Ghana on October 11.

Quipping on the Group India have been drawn in, Matos stated: “Our possibilities are small but we have a winning mentality. We have the winning spirit in us and will give our cent percent even if we have less chance of winning the match".

“After the draw, our Players (Sanjeev Stalin and Dheeraj Singh) told me that Coach we can win against them. My goal is to show the world that the Indian team can play at par with the best of the world. We are not going to play against extra-terrestrials, we are going to play against humans, and the boys know that they can make an impression," Matos informed.

In an effort to field a strong team, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has provided the Indian U-17 World Cup Team an exposure trip of Europe wherein the Indian Colts faced Serbia, Macedonia and Benfica SL among other Club and National Teams.

The Indian Colts next, would be flying to Mexico to partake in a Tournament featuring Mexico, Chile, and Colombia in August as part of exposure. The Indian U-17 World Cup Squad will also be playing International Friendlies against Mali, Australia, and other Countries.

“We have progressed a lot as a team in the last few months. We have produced good football but it does not matter when there are no points for your performances. However, we showed in Europe that Indian players are at par with European Players,” he said.

“Indian Players can play like Portuguese players with holding the ball, keeping the ball and playing with the ball. And India has the potential to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in the next coming years. We have spent hours on developing the passing technique and playing in close quarters and in the next few months we will be doing further good things,” the Portuguese said.

When inquired about his coaching philosophy, Matos stated, “A Footballer needs a ball like a Pianist needs a Piano. For me, everything is with the ball. We have created exercises for the Players in a technical sense because when you put complexity in your exercises the Players are obliged to think and the most important thing on the field is to concentrate on the ball and think," he said.