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The World Cup Will Be A Great Challenge For Us : Luis Norton de Matos

Tuesday, 21 March 2017|Abhishek Mukherjee

With the U-17 World Cup just months away, the Indian U-17 team have been training hard to impress in their maiden appearance.

Newly appointed Portuguese boss Luis Norton de Matos is confident that the Blue colts can defy the odds and spring a few surprises in the World Cup.

In an interview with FIFA.com Matos said, "It is India's first World Cup, and it is a great challenge for us. Theoretically, our chances of success are not big and there is common awareness of this fact. Yet that is what makes this challenge so unique and motivating. Because the team will represent the country, so they should play with dignity and pride. Our primary objective is to win the first game of the World Cup even if the odds are against us."

Matos believes that India possesses a lot of potential and it is necessary to nurture that potential.

"I have no doubt about the country's enormous potential in youth," he said. "It is necessary to build on the scouting plan throughout all regions of the country, such as football schools with an adequate competitive structure that permits game evolution and fair play."

Matos hailed the focus and dedication of the Indian players even though he hasn't been training them for long. "My initial contact with the U-17 World Cup came as a pleasant surprise. The players are highly focused on a goal and have displayed enormous desire to learn during the training sessions. Most importantly, they are humble, emotionally strong and motivated," the Portuguese said.

With the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicking off in seven months' time, Matos is already planning ahead of it. "Indian prodigies will be unearthed during the World Cup, but the real development will start after the World Cup. Media exposure is a tool that must not be ignored or understated. The U-17 team will lay the foundation for a future U-20 national team in the near future, and eventually the senior India team.”