Pune: The Indian boys will play with a winning attitude at the U-17 World Cup despite having very little chance of advancing beyond the group stage, coach Luís Norton de Matos asserted here on Thursday.
“Our mentality is to win, we should win with attitude, we are focused to keep winning attitude,” said Matos, who had made five appearances for Portugal in 1982.
India have been placed alongside against the US, Colombia and Ghana in Group A for the World Cup which will start from October 6.
Matos said the hosts are ready to put their best foot forward to stay alive in the tournament.
“I know we have a little chance, but even with five percent chance, we are going to fight. Nobody likes to lose,” the former Portugese forward said.
Matos took charge of the India U-17 team replacing German Nicolai Adam earlier this year. The Portugese said every coach has a different style of training the squad and so does he.
“German is different, Portugese is different. The Germans have their own school and way of teaching, so do we.”
“With experience, India can play like Portugal, we like to keep the ball and control it,” Matos said.
India U-17 forwards Rahul Kannoly Praveen and Shubham Sarangi, who have figured in three and seven matches respectively for the side during the international friendlies, talked about their journey in joining the team and the footballers who inspired them.
“I was born in Andhra Pradesh, shifted to Delhi. I used to watch boys play football from my balcony and that created the desire in me to play the game,” Sarangi said.
“I always look up to India senior team captain Sunil Chettri, he is an inspiration for me,” said the 17-year-old.
Praveen hailed Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and his playing style.
“My uncle introduced me to football, he used to teach me to kick the ball inside the room and since then I’m more into football than studies,” Praveen said.