India men’s football team eyes ‘huge opportunity’ against Bahrain and Belarus | Soccer News
The announcement of international friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus in March was welcomed by India’s men’s football team, who said the matches represent “a huge opportunity for us as a nation and as a as a team to rub shoulders with such great teams”. .
Current AIFF Player of the Year Sandesh Jhingan said in an official statement: “This is perhaps one of the best news of recent times. That such international friendlies can be organized by the AIFF in the current circumstances speaks volumes.”
India’s senior men’s national team is due to play two international friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus on March 23 and 26 respectively.
“These are the kind of matches we need. We played Bahrain last time in the AFC UAE Asian Cup 2019, and we are aware that they are a very good team. We also understand that Belarus are also a powerful team,” added Sandesh.
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National team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said: “It will be an extremely difficult and good challenge to play against a team from a UEFA member association, which in itself is a great achievement.”
“UEFA teams can play against the best teams in the world because they regularly come up against them. That way they will come with all the experience and give us the perfect opportunity to test ourselves,” added the Indian goalkeeper.
“The Federation has done a great job in organizing these two matches. I see this as a real step towards our preparation for the last round of Asian Cup qualifiers in June 2022,” he said.
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Star midfielder Anirudh Thapa also stressed that both matches would be an “exhilarating experience”.
“A lot of teams haven’t had a chance to play competitive matches because of the pandemic. And here we are, with two matches scheduled against Bahrain and Belarus. I think we’re lucky, and playing against such capable teams will be an exhilarating experience,” he said.
“Such matches will not only facilitate and herald the development of Indian football on the world stage, but also lay the foundation for the next generation to learn from our successes and our failures,” added the young midfielder.
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