Mumbai: India does have the football potential, but it is the mental preparedness that is the need of the hour for the country. With 134.92 crore population compared to Spain's 4.67 crore, the country is capable to produce world-class players, felt the Uruguayan legend Diego Forlan while talking to media.
In India, there were some places where football is crazy (Goa, Kerala, and Bengal) and that should be taken as an advantage by focusing on these places where football is more popular than cricket, felt the footballer, who says he would love to be back in Mumbai in a different avatar (as coach).
He also stressed the want of infrastructure in the country for football to have some footing if not a full-blown presence like cricket. Forlan, who is the brand ambassador of 'La Liga', was speaking after tire manufacturer BKT inked a three-season deal with the Spanish League as their Official global partners in presence of BKT Joint-MD Rajiv Poddar and senior league officials, here on Monday.
Well aware of the game football in this part of Asia, the 40-year-old retired forward, who played for Mumbai City FC during 2016 season, said "the country should see more youngsters in the game. There are so many kids playing football, but to prone these kids into champions we should have good coaches”.
“It is not just the physique but the mental preparedness as it forms the core in each one's mind. 'I want to play this game' should be in the back of the minds of these kids and we will see world-class players [emerging] from here.”
Emphasising other needs, the Urgayian World Cupper said, "One needs to create (an atmosphere) and keep it going [by] getting good professionals, good coaches. You need the back-up. You are a country where people have the money and power to do it, because if not [now], it is going to be tough," he said.