KOCHI: To date, no senior Indian football team - men's or women's - has faced footballing powerhouse Brazil in an international fixture. That is about to change as the Indian women's football team will take on Brazil on November 25. This will be followed by matches against Chile (Nov 28) and Venezuela (Dec 1) in a series of friendlies against top opposition ahead of the all-important AFC Asian Cup.
The excitement in the Indian camp is palpable and the players are looking forward to what is expected to be a special experience.
"We will be playing Brazil who has been such a big force in world football and has some of the best players in the world. If Marta plays, then it would be even more special because she is one of the best female footballers to have played the game. We want to be competitive and try to give our best and not just enjoy the occasion," said national team player Sanju Yadav who is expected to play a crucial part for the Indian team in these matches.
The winger said that the Indian team will not get carried away and will focus on the task at hand.
"The objective and the focus is of course on the AFC Cup. All this is part of preparations for the competition where we want to put up a good show. It is important to use these opportunities to play all these top teams and improve ourselves. We have been training hard and working on our game. This is a great opportunity and it will be a good exposure to our players against higher-ranked opponents," she said.
The former Gokulam Kerala FC star said that the club's performance in the recently concluded AFC Women's Club Championship is an indication that women's football is getting a much-needed boost.
"Gokulam played really well and we were all watching their games. To see a women's team at the Asian stage is a good sign and it was wonderful to see the team secure a win as well. Even the national team getting these opportunities is good. Let's hope women's football moves in the right direction going forward," said the 2019-20 AIFF Player of The Year.