Sports Football 06 Sep 2017 Grooming players aft ...

Grooming players after FIFA u-17 World Cup essential for growth: Emmanuel Amuneke

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SOUMO GHOSH
Published Sep 6, 2017, 7:07 pm IST
Updated Sep 6, 2017, 7:07 pm IST
The FIFA Legends side rode a 4-goal-haul by Fernando Morientes, to defeat the Indian side 5-4; Bala Ngangom starred for India netting twice.
[Left to right] Carlos Valderrama, Emmanuel Amuneke, Fernando Morientes, Jorge Campos and Marcel Desailly (not in pic) played for the FIFA Legends team that won 5-4. (Photo: DC/ Rajesh Jadhav)
 [Left to right] Carlos Valderrama, Emmanuel Amuneke, Fernando Morientes, Jorge Campos and Marcel Desailly (not in pic) played for the FIFA Legends team that won 5-4. (Photo: DC/ Rajesh Jadhav)

Mumbai: India need to carry forward its programmes to aid the overall growth of its budding footballers even after the FIFA u-17 World Cup is over, was the general consensus among the five legends of international football, who visited the DY Patil Stadium, in Navi Mumbai, to play a match against an Indian team.

The FIFA Legends side consisted of Carlos Valderrama, Fernando Morientes, Marcel Desailly, Jorge Campos and Emmanuel Amuneke.

 

Meanwhile, the Indian side consisted of former national team captain Renedy Singh, ex-footballers Steven Dias and Henry Menezes, women’s team players Bala Ngangom, Bembem Devi, singer and politician Babul Supriyo, and film director Shoojit Sircar.

Amuneke, who had won the U-17 World Cup as the Nigeria coach believes that Europe and South America have greater advantage over the others as their players get to carry forward their development in the junior levels, as they are groomed by the clubs later on.

The fans at the DY Patil Stadium were treated to some fast-paced five-a-side football from both the sides as the FIFA Legends rode a four-goal-haul by former Real Madrid striker Morientes to clinch the game 5-4.

 

Meanwhile, Bala Ngangom was the standout player for the Indians, scoring a brace.

“In Europe or South America, when the players finish playing at the youth level, they continue their growth by enrolling themselves with some club,” said Amuneke.

He further went on to state that African nations have are yet to realise that they cannot thrive in international football on talent alone. He said, “Unfortunately that has been missing in the African countries. We tend to dwell only on talent. We forgot that we have to continue to prepare the players, that we have to continue to make them grow, to become a much better player in the future.”

 

Marcel Desailly, on the other hand, stressed on the importance of handling the pressure of playing at home.

“I would say that the Indian team playing at home is something very special, and they should prepare well physically and psychologically, because it is tough to handle the pressure of playing on their own soil,” said Desailly, who had won the World Cup with France on home soil, in 1998.

“So for the Indian team, it is a real opportunity to shine and have the opportunity to start something from India, from this continent, where football is taking over,” he concluded.

 

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