Arsene Wenger on India’s talent pool in football


FIFA Chief of Global Football Development and former Arsenal supervisor Arsene Wenger mentioned {that a} huge talent pool places Indian football at a excessive benefit however figuring out it’s a powerful organisational process, for which the cooperation between FIFA and All India Football Federation (AIFF) is important.

AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey and Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran’s assembly with legendary coach and FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger, in Australia final month to finalise the setting-up of a central academy in India was the start of what’s set to be a big affiliation between FIFA and the AIFF.

Wenger, who is anticipated to go to India in October, opened up on the inspiration for working with the AIFF on such a talent improvement mission. “I would say that football is the most popular sport in the world and it looks logical that one of the biggest countries in the world has access to football development. I would say that India is a sporting country, and I am hopeful that we can bring great joy to children in India and have fun by playing football.”

“I am confident because I believe that success is linked to education. We want to give the opportunity to educate young people to watch football in India,” he mentioned.

According to Wenger, there’s a easy two-step means of creating academies in India. “Overall, it is based on two things. First, it is identifying talent. And then the quality of the educational programme and the coaching is absolutely vital. The AIFF has to take charge of the education with us and we need good cooperation.”

“We will need to work together with the AIFF to identify the talent first. And after that, we have to group the best with the best. Under that, you have the grassroots game for the whole country. The starting point is to identify the talent and put the best with the best together.”

“For a country with 1.4 billion people, the vast talent pool is the biggest advantage in terms of identifying talent. But looking at the other side of the coin, it also presents an organisational challenge. The number is an advantage, but the organisation’s task gets tougher. 1.4 billion people, I would say it is a gold mine, but a gold mine, which, at the moment, we have not analysed or identified well.”

“That is why why we need people inside the country who know where the talent is. This is why the cooperation between FIFA and the AIFF will be absolutely vital, with a strong desire. As per our conversation, the AIFF is highly focused and motivated to help us do that. I think we will do a great job together,” concluded Wagner.

Wagner mentioned that he met the AIFF President and the Secretary-General in Australia on the Women’s World Cup and was impressed by their motivation and their capability to organise what they wished to do.

“I came out of the meeting very optimistic about our cooperation. We will start the work really soon,” added the Frenchman.

“But how soon will that be? “I am happy to go and see how the work is taking place, and I have planned to go to India at the end of October, or somewhere around that.”

It isn’t any secret to the world that cricket is the most well-liked sport in India, and Wenger, having spent greater than 20 years in England, isn’t any stranger to the game. For India to really change into a sporting nation, there must be room for different sports activities to develop as properly.

“I do not see why India would not be on the world map with the number of players. It is a sporting country. At the moment, cricket is their number one sport. I have nothing against cricket. I was in England for a long time and I know how important cricket is to England. But there is room for other sports. Not all the kids can only play cricket. We want to give them that opportunity. Football is a fantastic sport where there is no discrimination based on weight or size. If you have good technique, you play,” mentioned the person who coached Arsenal FC to their well-known English Premier League title in 2003-04, a season when the Gunners didn’t lose a single match in all the marketing campaign.

Not many know that Wenger coached in Asia earlier than his monumental stint at Arsenal, main Japanese aspect Nagoya Grampus Eight between 1995 and 1996. The 73-year-old believes India ought to undertake Japan’s technique of constructing grassroots and training a precedence ought to they wish to climb the rankings and change into one among Asia’s main footballing powers once more.

“I arrived in Japan in 1995. They started the professional league in 1993. But they understood very early that you need to create academies and education for young players, and did that programme very well. Look at them now, the boys as well as the girls. Japan are among the top of the world rankings. They are a good example to follow. They understood very quickly that education was the key,” defined Wenger.

While his embellished teaching profession could be over, Wenger’s ardour for the game and a long time of experience fuels his dedication to maintain creating the sport in a distinct capability, now in the form of such talent improvement initiatives.

“I was, for a long time, in the results business. Or however, you want to call that. Of course, the intensity of that life was fantastic and very, very demanding. But I am here on a long-term project, and I would say that with what I have learnt, is how we can guide people. This will be more long-term and a deeper satisfaction. That’s why I am in the part of my life where I can help people, and the legacy I can leave in football is absolutely fantastic. I am grateful that FIFA gave me this opportunity. And together, I am sure we can leave a great legacy and change football in the world. Even change the world by helping everybody to develop. It is a fantastic project,” he mentioned.

For a rustic like India, which is understood to provide nice minds, nice leaders and CEOs, and extremely modern individuals in the world of IT and computer systems, creating that experience in the sport of football is under no circumstances troublesome, based on Wenger.

“I would say that the Indian people are dedicated, intelligent and ready to invest in education. It all comes down to education. There were many Indians doing very well when I was in England because they were very dedicated and invested a lot of time in education. The difference in football is that you must also educate your feet. In fact, football is doing with your feet what your brain wants. So of course, we have the brain but we want to educate the feet as well. And then we will have great players,” concluded Wenger.

(with inputs from ANI)

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