‘Fascinated by India’, Wenger confident of India’s ascent in world football
Wenger, on his maiden visit to India, discussed the implementation of FIFA’s talent development initiatives with the AIFF and other football organisations
Former Arsenal coach and footballing legend Arsene Wenger on Monday said Indian football is ‘gold mine’ not completely explored. Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, is on a three-day visit to India. Wenger discussed the implementation of FIFA’s talent development initiatives with the AIFF and other football organisations.
Arsene Wenger held a meeting with the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kalyan Chaubey and the Acting Secretary General Satyanarayan M, to discuss the establishment of the AIFF-FIFA Academy as well as youth development in the country.
Wenger spoke highly about the potential Indian football holds and sounded determined to push the country up in terms footballing prowess.
“I would say I was always fascinated by India. My target is to improve football in the world. And it is impossible that a country like India, 1.4 billion, is not on the football world map,” Wenger said.
“I believe you have huge assets, fantastic qualities that make me very optimistic about what you can do here. It is absolutely fantastic to have that opportunity. And with my team, we are really highly motivated to help this country develop in the game. I’m convinced that it’s possible in the very short term,” he added.
Gold mine: Arsene Wenger
The only coach in the history of English football to win the Premier League without facing a loss also stressed on the need for Indian footballers to improve technically.
“What will football be like in 2030? How can we imagine what our needed quality is in 2030? But what is for sure, is where we start with technique. Football is a technical sport. We have to equip the players from five to 15 with the best possible capacity to be technically at the top.
“So, this is where we have to start and that’s where we want to help people to make young players technically perfect,” he said.
Wenger also spoke about the high ceiling Indian football has, claiming it has ‘great potential’.
“Imagine the potential that is here if we work well. And my main target here is to convince people that there is a gold mine here. But at the moment it is not completely explored, exploited and encouraged,” he said.