Indian Under-17 football team has brought out a host of some vastly talented players who are eager to put their names across when they go up against the best young sides in the world. With a bunch of skillful young professionals in the side, Coach Luis Norton de Matos has plenty to do with his boys when they battle for glory in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup. The team’s backline is what would be the most vital cog of the setup and a strong defence will see the Indian team go past their rivals with relative ease. Anwar Ali will be the leading man in that India’s back line which will be colliding with some of the best attacks in world football.

Ali has played football from an early age and his father has been his support from childhood. A footballer himself, Ali’s father would train him at a local ground and has played a vital role in transforming his son’s career. In an interaction with AIFF, the dynamic defender was asked how he got into football, to which he largely credited his father, “My father used to take me to play football when I was very young as he was also a football player. There was a ground nearby our house and that is where I started playing football. My father used to coach me a bit when I was young and eventually I fell in love with the sport and have not looked back ever since,” said Ali.

Ali has been described as a decent defender who likes to answer his critiques with his ball possessing abilities on the ground. He is soft spoken but when it comes to disposing of rival forwards, the lad never backs down.

His football journey has been of sorts, he didn’t have a smooth trek top cover when he started playing, but thanks to the continuous guidance of his father and his resolute determination he made it to the national side and made his mother the ‘happiest’ person on the planet.

“My father was very supportive when I first wanted to make a career in football but my mother still had some doubts. After I made it into the Indian U-17s, my mother was the happiest person on the planet and she burst into tears when she received the news,” Ali said throwing light on his football journey.

Ali and his team are now ready to be the trailblazers in the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup, their first game is now just a few days away and for Ali it’s almost like seeing a dream come true. His football has paid off and he will be amongst those few lucky youngsters who will be donning the Blue colours and take charge for India at the JLN Stadium in New Delhi against USA.

“It feels unreal. I always had a dream of playing in a FIFA World Cup and now with less than few hours to go, it feels surreal. It feels like all the sacrifices and hardships that I have endured are worth it. I am very excited and honoured to be a part of the Indian U-17s, Ali mentions on being asked about the feeling of going into the biggest tournament of his life.

Talking about, the team bonding and dressing room atmosphere, Ali said, there is huge excitement in the camp and everyone is rearing to give more than they could.

First Published | 3 October 2017 6:22 PM
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