THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Armando: “We can never play like Barcelona”

Kushal Das and Armando Colaco

Kushal Das and Armando Colaco

Hours prior to the kick-off of Team India’s Preparatory Camp for the World Cup Qualifier against UAE, National Team Coach Armando Colaco, in his first official interaction with the Media at the Football House stressed, he is ‘not a magician,” and needs “time to adjust.”

“Just be a bit patient. This is a new beginning for Indian football,” he insisted.

“The boys from the Indian Arrows will form the nucleus of the future National Squad. I have analysed each and every player and decided on my squad,” Armando explained.

Referring to a question that he had axed many a senior player for the Camp, Armando clarified: “I have never axed any player. I just want to build a squad for the future.”

India play UAE in the World Cup Qualifier on July 23 (away-match) and the home match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on July 28.

Kushal Das, the General Secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) who was also present on the occasion further informed the National Team would play a series of friendly matches as part of the preparation. “Besides the match against Maldives (July 10) and Qatar (July 17), we are in talks to squeeze in two more International Friendlies during the period.”

“Adjusting to different styles stays the key for any footballer,” Armando maintained. “Every coach has a specific style of play. I would insist on playing possessional football. After all, it’s all about the ball.”

He went on to clarify that “the National team won’t ever try to play like Barcelona.”

“It’s impossible to play like Barcelona. No team can’t ever emulate that style. It’s futile to think we will be playing like them,” he added. “I have been successful with Dempo. I’d rather like to infuse the Dempo style of play into the National Squad.”

Armando singled out striker Jeje Lalpeklua saying, he expects him to carry on his I-League momentum into the International Matches. “Jeje is a strong boy. He has been the highest Indian scorer in the I-League. I expect a lot from him.”