Intercontinental Cup: India is somewhere between 'sleeping giant and rising competitor', says New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid

'I appreciate the opportunity to play in the hero Intercontinental Cup as for countries like us it provides an excellent option to play against three potential strong opponents and have a look at players who will take us forward for the future,' Fritz Schmid said.

PTI May 29, 2018 18:21:15 IST
Intercontinental Cup: India is somewhere between 'sleeping giant and rising competitor', says New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid

New Delhi: New Zealand football coach Fritz Schmid on Tuesday dubbed India lying somewhere between "a sleeping giant and a rising competitor".

Intercontinental Cup India is somewhere between sleeping giant and rising competitor says New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid

The Indian football team. Twitter@/IndianFootball

Schmid is here with his team to take part in the Hero Intercontinental Cup, starting 2 June.

"I appreciate the opportunity to play in the hero Intercontinental Cup as for countries like us it provides an excellent option to play against three potential strong opponents and have a look at players who will take us forward for the future," he said.

Asked what impression he has about football in India, he sounded optimistic.

"India is somewhere between a sleeping giant and a rising competitor. It's a big country and from my activity back in the Asian Football Confederation I realised there was a lot of activity at the top level with their professional league.

"At the same time, they were trying to put things together for grassroots and development aspects. I followed very closely their activities around the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

"There are a lot of efforts going on and it's very important for them to put the pieces together to find their position in terms of popularity of the sport in direct comparison to cricket."

He has been following the the Indian team's progress, and is aware of the challenges that await his team.

"India have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup and it's a big year for Indian Football. It's understandable they are preparing for the Continental Championships while we are building up for a new campaign.

"I know Stephen Constantine is a very experienced coach who has been successful in many different countries. I expect them to be really prepared especially after the two weeks of preparatory camp in Mumbai. They will be playing at home and it will be a tough challenge for us

 

Updated Date:

also read

AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: We will be backing ourselves against Hong Kong, says Sunil Chhetri
Sports

AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: We will be backing ourselves against Hong Kong, says Sunil Chhetri

India will be setting their sights on completing a hat-trick of wins in their final Group D clash against Hong Kong and seal their qualification for next year's AFC Asian Cup.

India jump two places to 104 in FIFA ranking
Sports

India jump two places to 104 in FIFA ranking

India’s ranking among Asian Football Confederation members, however, still remained static at 19th place.

AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: Anwar Ali among the scorers as India thump Hong Kong 4-0 to top group
Sports

AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: Anwar Ali among the scorers as India thump Hong Kong 4-0 to top group

India capped off their historic AFC Asian Cup qualification campaign in style, sweeping aside a strong Hong Kong side 4-0 under heavy rains at the Salt Lake Stadium.