India suffered an embarrassing defeat to Guam in 2018 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. But former Indian captain, Baichung Bhutia has insisted the country and its football fans to keep calm and not break their support for Team Tigers.
According to a report by PTI, 38-year-old Bhutia who plays for I-league team, East Bengal said that one always has “bad games,” terming Guam to be a “good side.”
He added that India had “less time for preparation” hence; everyone should be patient about drawing immediate conclusions. “When we win you can’t find a problem. But if you lose then you can spot several problem. Let’s give more time to the team,” he added.
India has always failed to provide good infrastructure and help to players from a grassroot level and Bhutia made sure to raise that issue.
In the same report, although he termed I-league as well as Indian Super League (ISL) to be “good in terms of bringing up or showcasing a talent” he said that “state associations need to play a bigger role” in order to nurture talents that can make a name for themselves in the global world.
In a report by Goal.com, Bhutia has severely criticized the poor arrangement of facilities in India, resulting in the loss of producing talents from the country’s football contingent.
He even went to argue that Lionel Messi wouldn’t have become the player he is today had he been born in India. “Had Messi been born here, would he have been the same player with this infrastructure around him?” he said in the same report.
Technically, Bhutia doesn’t sound wrong. Take Sunil Chhetri for example who recently scored his 50th international goal for India, becoming the first Indian footballer to do so. With the facilities available in India it is an extreme achievement for the 30-year-old Bengaluru FC striker. And that takes us back to the younger days of Messi as well when he was spotted as a massively talented 12-year old boy by FC Barcelona. The rest is history, but Bhutia’s question should be considered.
With ISL gaining immense significance these days, another question pops in the head. Is playing amidst world class players a gain for Indian football – an opportunity of learning for the young footballers, or just a scheme to provide huge entertainment?