With just one month to go for FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, five FIFA Legends – Carlos Valderrama, Fernando Morientes, Marcel Desailly, Jorge Campos and Emmanuel Amuneke – took part in an exhibition game at Dr DY Patil Stadium and unveiled the Winner’s Trophy for the Navi Mumbai leg of the Trophy Experience.
It was an unforgettable day for Indian football as the FIFA Legends took on an Indian contingent comprising Arjuna awardee Oinam Bembem Devi; Indian women’s national team captain Ngangom Bala Devi; two kids from Mission XI Million, the legacy programme for FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017; Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise Babul Supriyo and Bollywood filmmaker Shoojit Sircar.
Football fans in Mumbai watched the game enthusiastically from the stands and cheered for both teams in a match that ended 5-4 that ended in favour of the FIFA Legends. Fernando Morientes scored four goals while Bala Devi was the standout performer for the Indian icons, scoring 2 goals and assisting another.
Emmanuel Amuneke, winner of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with Nigeria as coach, said,” I think dealing with U-17 players, the most important thing is to try to make sure they see you as someone who can add to their game. Try as much to guide them and not forget that there are a lot of distractions going on in their mind. But the most important thing is to bring them to a level where they can compete with teams all over the world”.
Fernando Morientes said, “Infrastructure and coaching can help create an ecosystem that can be conducive to the transition between youth teams and senior teams. That’s what Spain and France have been doing all these years. The infrastructure to start from the school level, right to the top”.
Marcel Desailly later remarked, ‘This is a huge opportunity for the Indians kids to develop the game and hopefully see the national team taking international stage at the youth level”.
In just a month’s time, India will host its first ever FIFA tournament, and the milestone occasion was made even more momentous by the Launch of the Official Song, ‘Kar Ke Dikha De Goal’.
Penned by lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya and composed by Pritam, the song features a host of well-known music artists that include Sunidhi Chauhan, Neeti Mohan, Babul Supriyo, Shaan, Papon, Mika along with a cameo rap performance by actor Abhishek Bachchan. The track showcases the vibrancy and uniqueness of India while also resonating with a global audience. The music video for the song celebrates the diversity of our nation and is expected to further enthuse the fans for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
Dr DY Patil Stadium will host eight matches this October, including the all-important semi-final. Tickets for the same can be bought at www.fifa.com/india2017/ticketing.
(FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 LOC)