His youth team, India head coach Igor Stimak, wants his players to play fearless football as the team faces the more sophisticated Oman and the United Arab Emirates in international friendly next week.
India plays Oman and the UAE in Dubai on March 25th and 29th, respectively – their first matches in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic – as part of preparations for the joint matches of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Championships. in 2023. Cup.
“We have to go out on the field without any fear, we have to try to make our transitions properly and try to enjoy the possession we have. That’s what I want to ask my players,” Stimak told AIFF TV.
“As part of our football philosophy, we are not looking for easy opponents. We can only improve by playing against better countries. As soon as we realized (that the World Cup qualifiers were postponed to June), we were able to confirm two friendly matches against Oman. and the UAE. “
Although India no longer qualifies for the 2022 World Cup, they still have three matches left – against Qatar (home) and Afghanistan (home) and Bangladesh (away). All three matches will be played in June.
Stimak said the selection of the 27-man team is based on a number of criteria, including the form of the Indian Super League, past appearances for the national team and overall experience.
“A combination of different factors (they came into the team’s decision). Most of the players got to the team on merit. But there are a few who have also proven themselves on the international stage. A few bad performances should not erase them from the squad,” Croatia said.
He paints a bright future for Indian football. “It’s a long process and we are preparing to play and win against the best,” he said.
“We are trying to upgrade U-17 and develop their knowledge. Football promotion has grown by leaps and bounds in India. Soon football will take first place here.”
While the Blue Tigers are ready to return to international football after the pandemic, they will be left without their captain and mascot striker Sunil Chettri, who himself tested positive for COVID-19.
Stimak praised Chetri, saying his presence motivated youngsters because not many players his age could continue to perform at such a high level.
“When you watch Sunil this season, you can see that he has improved, although Bengaluru FC has not played well. His individual numbers show that,” Stimak said.
“It’s important for young people to develop this knowledge when they’re with him. I hope he stays motivated because there’s still room for improvement and there’s a lot left in it.”