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Indian women's football team don't feel pressure against big teams anymore: Manisha

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) The Indian women’s footballer Manisha Kalyan has said that the team doesn’t feel the pressure against big teams anymore after facing a number of quality opponents in the last few years. The Indian womens team has played against higher-ranked teams like Turkey, Uzbekistan, UAE, Bahrain and Sweden in the last few years and have gained a lot of confidence and learned so much from them.

“We gained a lot of experience against the higher-ranked teams and we got to learn so much from them,” said Manisha who registered her name in the record books by scoring India’s first-ever goal against Brazil at the senior level in November.

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“We used to be nervous facing tough opponents, but after having faced such big teams, we don’t feel that pressure anymore. We don’t fear any team and just want to play good football against them and give them tough competition,” she added.

The 20-year old, who herself has been an avid fan of Brazil since childhood, has gained a lot of self-confidence after scoring against them.

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“I used to follow some of the Brazilian players like Ronaldinho since I was a kid so playing against Brazil gave me an immense boost. It was a great opportunity for everyone, and especially for me as I went and scored for my team,” she said.

“I feel I have gained a lot of confidence after scoring that goal and feel that I can score more goals in the future,” she added.

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A resident of the Mugowal village in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab, Manisha got a warm reception over the phone from her family and friends from the other side of the globe after her historic feat.

“My family and friends were happy and proud that I scored that goal. It is such a great feeling to have when your parents are proud of you. There were so many calls and messages I had received that day which I will be forever grateful,” the attacker said.

“Firstly, playing against Brazil was such a huge thing, so was scoring. But that does not change out main aim, which is to do well in the AFC Asian Cup. All of that was done so that we could prepare better for the tournament, and we want to do well in Asia,” she concluded.

–IANS

avn/bsk

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