India's Biggest Moment For The Beautiful Game
Less than 24 hours ago, the blue colts ended their campaign in the FIFA U 17 World Cup after a 4-0 loss against Ghana. But there is no reason for the youngsters from India to be fazed.
Following this early exit, it is important to realise that the burden of expectations now stands even heavier on them. Not only is it a defining moment in the players’ own individual careers, but the games produced a kind of spark within the world of Indian football- a spark of renaissance and change which has the potential to turn into a bright flame.
This country has no dearth of talent. That much has always been clear to scholars and enthusiasts of the sport. And with the kind of performances we have seen in the World Cup from the Indian team, that widely believed conjecture has now become fact. Undoubtedly, with the right kind of grooming and a similarly correct amount of exposure, Indian stars can and have been making an impact on a global stage among teams of the World.
Who knows. With widespread reports of international scouts present at the games, the performances of some of the lads may have caught the right eye. Dheeraj’s heroics at the goal or the skills of Nongdamba Naorem whose antics with the ball shown brilliantly in his short playing stints.
And although India conceded 9 goals, scored 1 and failed to win either of their 3 matches, there was joy in watching the team play. They won hearts with their spirit, their refusal to give up. At the end, it was not even about the disappointing score lines. History will show young Jeakson Singh as the first Indian footballer to score in a World Cup goal.
So, chin up, boys. With limited resources, you have managed to stand shoulder to shoulder, and compete with the best youth teams in the world. And you have made a mark against them.
The time is now. This is only the beginning. We are at the threshold of the biggest opportunity the youngsters have. The limelight is on the team. People have taken notice. Now is the time to hold their attention with continued emphatic performances.
Adidas supports these resilient young lads and wishes them the best as they embark upon the pages of history. They are definitely going to need more such spirited support. It is a long and difficult road ahead and we are just getting started.