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

Romi Devi: We believe we can win against the Netherlands

Romi Devi

There is an air of tranquility around India Women’s national team centre back Romi Devi. She is shy and introvert in nature. But these traits are all off the pitch. On the pitch, donning the hallowed blue, the 23-year old Manipuri is the chirpiest of the lot, shepherding the back-four like the Captain of a ship.

“Off the pitch and on the pitch are entirely two different aspects. One has to be vocal on the pitch. I shout a lot to boost my teammates and instruct the backline. A central defender can gauge the shape of the team. She can foresee the opponent’s moves; not always but at times. So it comes to me naturally,” she says at one breath.

“I don’t know what happens to me when I wear the India jersey. I feel inspired and charged up,” Romi Devi confessed.

Romi, who begun her international career in 2005 along with Tuli Goon, added football has always been the sole driving force in her life. “I eat, drink and breathe football. I always wanted to be a footballer. I was never disillusioned that a girl taking up football as a profession is not the best thing to do. Come what, football has always been my cup of tea.”

Asked about the Dutch challenge, she quipped: “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our talent. We have been winning almost everything that is thrown on us. We have won the SAFF Championships twice on the row. We beat Bahrain last time around. But having said that, this is a different side altogether.

“The Dutch are one of the top sides of Europe. It will be a great challenge for us and we are up for it.”

She continued with renewed verve: “The most important thing stays self belief. If we get bogged down by the sheer weight of the opposition we will lose. We can win and we will win, this should be the attitude.”

(AIFF Press Release)