31 October, 2020

"My Goals Will Tell My Story Now"

East Bengal striker and Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia spoke to Outlook. Excerpts:

Swapan Nayak
"My Goals Will Tell My Story Now"
What has been the biggest gain from the ASEAN Cup win?
The fact that so many of our players got offers to play for Southeast Asian clubs is a huge bonus. People have the wrong idea about Indian football. Our win will change their views. It is up to us and the administration to keep up the good work.

Some critics feel the ASEAN Cup was a low-key tournament.
It's a tournament recognised by the Asian Football Confederation. bec Tero Sasana, whom we beat in the final, comprised Thailand's best players. This itself proves the quality of the teams in the fray. Our main test now will be the afc Champions League later this year. Our path in Jakarta was by no means easy.

What were the factors leading up to this memorable win?
I reckon the meticulous planning by the coach was the most crucial factor. Our club officials were also supportive. Bringing in a physical trainer from South Africa was a great idea. It goes to show how much modern sport is dependent on a good support system.

You emerged top scorer with nine goals. It must be very...


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