Indian Football Captain Sunil Chhetri said that the hope of Indian Team to develop as a football playing nation depends on regular participation of the team In tournaments like the Asian Cup.
Chhetri is expected to take India to the finals of the 2019 Asian Cup which is going to be held in United Arab Emirates, two years from now. In previous edition held in Australia (2015), India missed to do so but this time hopes are again on the shoulder of the Captain Chhetri.
“To be honest, we should be playing at the Asian Cup every time. That’s the parameter we need to use to judge if we are doing well or not,” Chhetri said in an interview.“We have to keep playing in the Asian Cup which will mean rubbing shoulders with the best in the region. You know the quality you are playing against and then you know how much you have improved.” he added.
With the decision of the Asian Football Confederation to allow 8 more teams to qualify for the finals with existing 16, Chhetri thinks this is an opportunity that we should not miss and it gives country a better and more probable chances of qualifying. “As far as our hopes are concerned, I have played enough to understand that you cannot think about the chances yet,
” India’s most-capped player with 92 appearances said.“The way the rankings work is if you do well in the last six-to-eight months, your ranking can rise to an extent that you can’t even imagine,” he added. “That’s why when I face teams in Asia, I don’t look too much into rankings. (Qualification) is not going to be easy.”
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