The Indian football team featuring in the FIFA World Cup is just a far-fetched dream for the fans and players alike but with the development of better grassroots programmes and the Indian Super League, where home-grown players are nurtured amongst renown international talents, the future looks bright for the Blue Tigers. Recently, the 1998 FIFA World Cup winner and FC Bayern Hall of Fame member Bixente Lizarazu said in an interview that India is witnessing a football revolution and can play a World Cup in a decade or so.
Remarking that Indian players are now technically stronger, the Frenchman said he can imagine India playing the prestigious cup in the next 10 years. However, the progress will be gradual, he added.
Speaking to IANS, Bixente Lizarazu, a member of the French team that won Euro 2000 said: “Its only two times that I came here (India) but I see a revolution. The way of playing is changing. Now players are playing more technically and trying short passes with more control.”
“The young generations are interested in football. In 10 years or may be 20 years I can imagine Indian team playing a World Cup but it will take time,” he added.
Lizarazu was in India for a two-day Adidas FC Bayern Youth Cup India Finals. It’s an under-16, seven-a-side, inter-school football tournament. The winning team from the National Finals will represent India in the FC Bayern Youth Cup World Finals.
Offering an advice to Indian players, the 49-year-old legend said first a player needs to know how to control the ball with every face of the feet. “My advice is to have the full control of the ball. It has to be your friend. You have to do a lot of exercise with the ball to be easy with it. You have to be comfortable with the every face of your feet,” he said.
“If you have control over the ball then you try to play it with others as it is a team game,” he added.