Ex-German footballer Klaus Augenthaler speaks on how improved infrastructure at grassroots level will help sport grow in India

  • Augenthaler said training should be imparted to players from an young age like it is done in European nations

  • The former Bayern Munich star took a Masterclass for the girls of PIFA Foundation in Mumbai

  • Augenthaler said training begins in European nations at the age of 10 and that helps in creating talent

Mumbai: Former German footballer Klaus Augenthaler on Saturday stressed that India should have a proper structure and emphasised on grassroot development for growth of football in the country.

India, once called "sleeping giants", have made rapid progress in football and recently held Asian Champions Qatar to a 0-0 draw.

 Ex-German footballer Klaus Augenthaler speaks on how improved infrastructure at grassroots level will help sport grow in India

File image of Klaus Augenthaler. Image credit: Twitter/@FCBayernEN

They are set to play Bangladesh next on 15 October in Kolkata.

Asked about Indian football, Augenthaler, a member of the 1990 World Cup-winning West Germany team, said training should be imparted to players from an young age like it is done in European nations.

"Where you (India) can improve is the (football) structure. If you start with girls like today or all the players from a little (young) age, it is just a question of time when you produce good players.

"If you start to train them young and have wide infrastructure, and grassroots (programmes in place), grow the game from the wide perspective, sooner or later you will have a lot of talent," Augenthaler told reporters in Mumbai.

The former Bayern Munich star took a Masterclass for the girls of PIFA Foundation during the Oktoberfest which was facilitated by Hafale in the Maharashtra capital.

"At the moment, there is less structure, clubs. When the infrastructure improves, it is just a question of time (when the talent grows)," he noted.

He said, in European nations, training begins at the age of 10 and that helps in creating talent.

He also said there was time for Germany to settle as a group before the next edition of the FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Qatar in 2022.

Germany failed to win the last FIFA World Cup hosted by Russia in 2018.

"So, we had a big change after the last World Cup where we didn't do well. Now we have bought in a couple of young players and it takes some time (to build a team) for the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

"Now is the time when young players can develop and we will be in good shape when the next WorldCup in Qatar is on. When we won in 1990 and 2014, we had good teams," he signed off.

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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2019 22:54:17 IST