New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The Indian women’s football team will take on Brazil for the first time ever during an international tournament on November 26 as part of its preparations for next year’s AFC Asian Cup and the head coach Thomas Dennerby believes that the girls are more than motivated to face Brazil.
“We all admire them, and there is a lot to learn from them as well. Playing against them is a big motivation for us all,” Dennerby said.
Chile and Venezuela are the other teams that the Indians will face in the tournament to be held in Manaus, Brazil.
“The team has managed to squeeze in four different training sessions, and there’s a lot of excitement in the team because Brazil is a very good footballing nation and we follow a lot of the Brazilian players ourselves. India are currently ranked 57th on the FIFA Women’s Rankings, while Brazil are placed 50 spots ahead of them,” he said.
Citing the higher level of the opponents, captain Ashalata Devi believes that it will be a “huge opportunity” for the Indian Women’s Team.
“Brazil is obviously a big team, they are higher up in the rankings as well, and we consider ourselves very lucky to get this kind of an opportunity to play against them. This is a big opportunity for us to learn and improve from them,” said Ashalata.
For India, it will be the first time that a senior national team will face Brazil in football while for Brazil, it will be a farewell match for their legendary midfielder Formiga Mota.
Speaking of some of the stars of world football who will be playing against the Indian Women’s Team, Ashalata said, “We have prepared for around three months ahead of this, so I am excited and confident heading into the match. I’m really excited to be playing against both Marta (Dsilva) and Formiga too. But we will try our level best to stop them.”
While India may be facing a much higher-ranked opponent, head coach Thomas Dennerby never deterred from the team’s objective.
“The mentality going into the matches is to win the game. I never tell my players that I am happy with a 0-1 or 0-2 loss,” he said. “But, we also need to understand that you can’t win all games. However, we want to have a winning mentality, one where we hate to lose any match and will fight until the final whistle.”