Kolkata: Teddy Sheringham, the head coach of ISL franchise ATK on Sunday brushed aside countryman Sol Campbell’s comment that India are 50-100 years behind the football elite, as ‘absurd’ also questioning whether the former English international whether he he has ever played in India or not.
Interestingly, Campbell who was in India for the U-17 World Cup final as a part of the FIFA Technical Study Group had said that, “There could be countries 50 to 100 years ahead of India.” But Manchester United legend Teddy confronted the statement – “Has he played here? He doesn’t know, he has watched from a distance.”
Urging India to catch up with the rest of the world, the former Arsenal central defender had also added, “The U-17 World Cup would have been a good exposure to that end, but the country had to start somewhere.”
But Teddy in complete contrast to his countryman, said that Indian football has already developed.
“I have been really impressed with the Indian players and saying that the country is 50-100 years behind is just absurd. Look at the way USA teams have done well in the World Cups, of course they could not qualify this time. But they have come out real strong,” said the 1998-99 Champions League winner at an ISL media event.
Talking of the future of Indian football the striker, who has a record 366 career goals to his name said, “A good manager in place with a good understanding and the future is bright. You have got many players in India. You have got to lift and encourage them. Feed them liitle better, make them stronger so that they can compete. A good organisation and the bigger the league, you never know where it is going to take you.”
With such a big statement coming from one of the greatest strikers, Indian football surely looks to have a bright future. The English Premier League legend has come to India as a head coach of ATK and players like Eugeneson, Prabir Das, Robin Singh and Jayesh Rane among others have a great chance at hand to learn from someone who once ruled their craft.
“It is a great opportunity to learn from him. Teddy has given me more confidence and hopefully I can deliver for the team,” said Jayesh Rane.