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2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Bhaichung Bhutia credits ISL for quality showing against Qatar

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Bhaichung Bhutia credits ISL for quality showing against Qatar

Sarah Waris

Published: 3 Oct 2019 11:40 AM GMT

Indian football stalwart Bhaichung Bhutia attributed India's quality showing against Asian Champions Qatar last month to the Indian Super League (ISL), and stated that the youngsters are now more confident after playing with top stars from around the globe.

The Indian side had held Qatar to a draw at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in September, and are now gearing up to face Bangladesh at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on October 15.

Also read: Bhaichung Bhutia owned United Sikkim FC shuts shop

Bhutia was prolific in his praise of the upcoming stars, and believes that Indian football is on the rise with a great talent pool available. He was quoted saying by IANS:

In my opinion, the ISL has made the players more confident. I think competing with good players has definitely given them confidence and you can see that in the way they played the last two World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Qatar.

The former India captain added, “So, psychologically the players are now looking more confident. Due to the ISL, the boys are now playing and training with quality players. So that definitely helps you learn a lot more and gain in experience."

The legend also highlighted the other factors that have helped in the development of Indian football in the recent years, which includes the hiring of experienced coaches.

Also read: 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Assessing Igor Stimac’s impact so far on Indian football team

“What I am trying to say is that while the ISL has definitely helped as the players are now wearing a more confident look and have much more self-belief, there are a lot of other factors too and a major one in that is the tactical acumen that has come in with the coaches.

“These boys did well under Stephen Constantine and are now doing well under Igor Stimac. The boys are improving tactically and their style of play has also improved. All these have combined to ensure the performance that you see on the field now,” he explained.

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