New Delhi: FC Pune City’s English manager David Platt has said that his overall India experience is an endearing one, and predicts the ‘sleeping giant’ of football to play World Cup within 20 years.
In a report published in MailOnline, the former Manchester City assistant manager invoked parallels from Bollywood movies to narrate his experience in India.
“Like watching a film unfold in front of your eyes and you can’t predict the ending. To us, it looks like chaos but to them, it is everyday life. That is why I find it so endearing. Nobody bats an eyelid,” Platt said.
“I’ve seen heavy garden furniture being delivered by bike. I’ve seen four people squeezed on to the same scooter. Right in the middle of town, there were a dozen buffalo walking down the street on their own. We had to swerve around them, nobody else in the car is blinking and I am thinking it is one of the most bizarre things I’d ever seen,” he added.
‘My driver took a short cut on a dirt track by the side of a road with four lanes of traffic coming towards us,’ said Platt. ‘I ended up laughing out loud. Anyone who did that in England would get on the 10 o’clock news. It works, but you think to yourself: “How?”‘
The former England captain joined the Indian Super League (ISL) franchise after a two-year long sabattical from football, after his dismissal at the Etihad Stadium, where he was assistant to Roberto Mancini.
The report claimed that Platt ignored Mancini’s attempts to join him at Galatasaray and Inter Milan all these while, but found himself motivated enough to the plunge in Indian football.
And he has, so far, found the move worthwhile, with ISL doing the right things to help Indian football.
“The ISL have the right people behind it. There is huge wealth to sustain it. The target is to inspire the next generation so that India has a good national team as well.”
“There is a great interest in watching football but not enough people play. Youngsters can’t see a pathway to becoming the next Sergio Aguero. One of the criteria to have an ISL franchise is that you need to introduce a youth system.”
The former Juventus and Arsenal midfielder then shared his optimism, and said that the Indian national team can actually play in World Cup within 20 years.
“If it’s done correctly, they will be in a World Cup within 20 years. Technically, the standard is already as good as League One and Two, but they need to improve tactically and to play without fear.”
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