The Under 17 World Cup is just a few months away and although the quality of Indian football is improving quickly, the young team set to represent India in the coming World Cup is yet to find their footing as they have failed to register any big wins. In saying that, their performance against Sporting Lisbon on May 10 was commendable. Even though they did not win the 2-1 defeat showed purpose from the Indian side. For a country that has long ignored football, its growth in the last few years has been exponential. The focus on improving football at every level has been seen in the many programmes recently introduced with Mission Eleven Million being the biggest of them.
The ongoing Europe trip for the team has exposed the players to bigger clubs which will benefit their game greatly as they take on the best of the best. Although they also lost to SL Benfica by a 3-0 margin, the match against the same on April 27 saw the young Indian team register a 2-2 draw. Before leaving for Europe, newly appointed Coach Luis de Matos made it clear he wanted his side to play against harder opponents and there was no sense in playing just easy ones. It is clear that he want to expose the team to the quality teams that will head to India in October and with the youngsters also competing in the Lazio Cup in Italy from May 23 to May 28, the Indian colts will definitely be more prepared against their competition. The next match India will play is on Friday against Italy.
In good news for fans who are greatly anticipating the U-17 World Cup, former Barcelona player Carles Puyol on Monday officially launched the ticket sales. With prices starting as low as Rs. 48, the entire football community will be expecting packed stadiums at every single game.