Legendary coach Arsene Wenger says it is ‘possible’ to develop Indian football ‘in a very short period of time’ and he cannot imagine the game growing without the Asian country’s involvement. The former Arsenal manager’s encouraging words come ahead of the Indian team’s World Cup qualifier against Qatar on Tuesday.
Wenger, currently FIFA’s global football development chief, on Monday visited the All India Football Federation (AIFF) headquarters and interacted with a group of heads of select academies from across the country.
“I would say I have always been fascinated by India,” Wenger said. My goal is to make football better in the world. And it is impossible that a country like India with a population of 1.4 billion is not on the world map of football. He said, “I believe that you have a lot of infrastructure and talent which makes me very optimistic about this.” What can you do here?
“Together with our team we are really highly motivated to help this country grow in sport,” Wenger said. I believe this is possible in a very short period of time.” Wenger emphasized how a good talent development plan can change the face of the game in the country.
“I was there during the beginning of Japan football in 1995 and they were at the World Cup in 1998,” he said. So that means it’s possible. You have to start early.
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