Former German football great Paul Breitner has tipped India, the world’s second-most populous nation, to become a major power in the globe’s most followed sport in under two decades.
The 64-year-old former midfield general, who was part of the German sides which won the World Cup in 1974 in Munich and then finished runners-up to Italy in 1982, based his assessment on what he has seen in the new generation of players over the last eight years in the FC Bayern Youth Cup tournament.
“I see great improvement in the young Indian players from 2008 (when the tournament was introduced in India) to now. What I have seen today was very good level (of football) as compared to all other countries where I am training,” said the FC Bayern Munich legend in an interview to PTI.
Breitner is in the city to witness the semifinals and final of the pan-India Under 16 tournament being held today.
“I expect that besides China, India also will become a great football nation. (But) it will need 15-20 years. You need two or three generations but I am convinced that football in India will become a very important and good one.
“If you ask me why, the answer is the Indian people have some movements which are different from others, like your hockey team - they use body feints - which is outstanding,” said Breitner who was part of the German outfit that also won Euro titles in 1972 and 1980.
Breitner, among a handful of players to have scored a goal in two World Cup finals including the score-levelling penalty in the 1974 final against The Netherlands that Germany won 2-1, said the way forward was for Indians to be trained by top European coaches or by those Indian coaches who are, in turn, tutored by overseas coaches.
“Indian players will become very good if they have the chance to be trained by good coaches. This is the most important thing which you have to think about and work upon,” he said.
Mumbai, Feb 14 (PTI) A day after his ‘policy paralysis’ jibe at Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the Congress leader did a “great job” as a Finance Minister but reforms process stopped after he became the Prime Minister.
“To be fair to him (Singh), he did a great job as an FM in initiating reforms. That process stalled when he became the PM,” Jaitley said.
He was speaking at the CNN Asia Business Forum held on the sidelines of the ‘Make In India Week’ that began here yesterday.
Yesterday, Jaitley had hit back at Singh for stating in an interview that the Modi government was not reaching out to the Opposition and not doing enough to move up the country’s economy.
In a Facebook post, Jaitley had said the transition from the UPA to NDA government has been from “policy-paralysis” to a global “bright-spot” while Congress’ stand on the crucial GST Bill has been motivated by “real politics”.
Jaitley had further said that unlike in the UPA regime when policies were framed from Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, in the NDA government Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the last word.
“Former Presidents and Prime Ministers rarely speak, but when they do, the nation should listen to them with rapt attention. They represent the wisdom of the nation.
“They are expected to be non-partisan, render constructive advice and at times send a powerful message even to their own political party to act in a broader national interest,” he had said.
Singh had said that there was a crisis of confidence in the government and that Prime Minister Modi must give “every Indian” the confidence that he cares for people’s well-being.