Indian Under-17 national team is preparing for the biggest competition of their lives; it will be the first of many to come World Cups for them. The young boys have some serious talent in the lot and are eager to announce themselves to the world when they take the field at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
As young sportsmen when you have to deal with the pressure of representing your country on the global platform you need that extra punch of inspiration from someone you look up to. Thanks to Indian National football team skipper Sunil Chhetri, the young boys got their fair bit of motivation from the man himself who has scored a record 54 goals for the country in international football.
At the Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru which is home to the ISL side Bengaluru FC the u-17 boys listened to their coach Louis Norton de Matos and captain Sunil Chhetri.
“This team is much better than we were and I am not just saying it for the sake of it. The level on which you guys are playing right now is amazing. I was coming from my house to here and thinking what should I tell you guys but all I want to say is ‘enjoy it’,” said Chhetri.
Weighing in on the importance of the big tournament the Indian captain further said “This tournament is going to be one of the most important days of your lives, I guarantee you that. Make sure you make everything perfect- every minute, every shot, every tackle, ever stride. Listen to your coaches, get your therapies, eat and sleep at the right time. So that when the World Cup finishes, you are not left with any regrets.
Any Indian football team for the first time will be a part of a World Cup tournament which further puts more burden on the shoulders of these young guns who would have millions watching them play.
“If any of us gets a chance to play in the World Cup, we will give away everything else for that. I would give my 15 years of my career to come back and play the World Cup. The whole country would be behind you irrespective of the results. You have a brilliant opportunity. Make sure you enjoy without any pressure. Rest will be like this (applause),” he said interacting with team at the Indian kit launch event by Nike.
The captain also backed the boys and told them not to worry about anything and perform their best “Don’t be scared I have seen you guys play and you are much better than what we were, don’t think what are people going to think don’t think what the crowd is going to think just give your best. You’re playing for India, so give your best for the country and give all you’ve got. Scoreline is not in your hand so just give your best.”
This inspirational session from the senior captain was a golden opportunity for the young team who would have taken a lot of positives from it and will try to execute them when they go against big guns like Colombia and Spain in football’s biggest ever competition. The Indian coach thanked Chhetri for his valuable inputs for the team and said his boys are ready for the challenge.
More captains should learn from Chhetri’s brilliant gesture and come up to celebrate the budding future of their respective sports field by seasoning the young players for the big stage.