Millennium Post

'Not afraid of facing tough opponents'

Margao: India's captain for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Amarjit Singh has said that his players have worked extremely hard in the last couple of years and are not afraid of facing tough opponents in the upcoming mega event, starting October 6.
"Under the new Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos we have learnt a lot of new things. The foreign tour has also helped us to be mentally tough against tough opponents. And now we are not afraid to play against the tough opponents," said Amarjit.
India have been placed in Group A in the FIFA U-17 World Cup alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana.
The hosts will face USA on October 6, followed by Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
"Our plan is to put the best foot forward for the upcoming tournament and play good matches. We have worked really hard and are capable of playing well. We can build good image of out team in the next few weeks during the tournament," said the skipper.
The Indian team will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Brazil Under-17 football team coach Carlos Amadeu wants to reclaim the FIFA U-17 World Cup title after a hiatus of 14 years at the majestic Saltlake Stadium here on October 28.
Having visited India and the revamped Salt Lake Stadium during the World Cup draw, Amadeu said he
dreams of lifting the glittering silverware here.
"I've heard about the football madness in Kolkata and I've been there. It is a huge stadium with a beautiful history. Since I was there I'm dreaming about the final. I wish we could get the trophy there," Amadeu said after arriving in Mumbai this morning.
The U-17 World Cup title has eluded Brazil since 2003.
Having won the title thrice in the past, the South American country is just behind title holders and four-time champions Nigeria, who have failed to qualify for the upcoming edition.
Having done a solid job in the youth ranks at Vitoria, Amadeu took charge of the Brazil U-17 side in May 2015 in the lead-up to the U-17 World Cup in Chile that year, where he steered the team to the last-eight before being eliminated by eventual champions Nigeria.
"I think that if you get the statistics of the U-17 World Cup, Africa are in front of South America and Europe. One of their countries always reach semi-finals," he said.
But Amadeu feels the competition will be tough this time around.
"The European teams, USA and Mexico are really strong this year. There are too many teams fighting for the tittle," he said.
Talking about Indian football, Amadeu had some words of advice for the host nation and said they can benefit from a football powerhouse like Brazil by way of exchange programmes.
"Players from India have the bio-type to play football, they are fast and have a good technique. In a country of such a huge population, I'm sure India could build a beautiful history in football," he said.
"My advice is to watch closely countries like Brazil, who can bring professionals with know-how.
"Also, the Indian professionals should travel around the world and participate in exchange programmes," he added.
The 52-year-old has put in well-designed hard work into practice for last two years, the result of which was evident in their dominant performance in the U-17 South American Championship in March.
On Tuesday, England head coach Steve Cooper announced a 21-member squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Cooper has included most of the players who had helped England to qualify for the World Cup after reaching the final of the U-17 European Championship last season.
The squad played two warm-up games in September, drawing against Brazil in Shrewsbury before suffering a 1-2 defeat against South Africa in Leek.
Jadon Sancho, who missed the September get-together while completing a switch from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund, is a new inclusion to the group.
Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who has impressed with his form at Stamford Bridge for their U-18s, has also been included in the England squad for the first time.
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