“In life, you get back three times what you give” – Bibiano Fernandes, Head Coach, U-16 Indian Football Team

Amongst the confused young bunch, stood a lanky 42-year-old former Indian team footballer who was prepping his boys mentally before focusing on the physical aspects.

“This is one of the tougher groups in the AFC Qualifiers, and we have been working hard for this competition. We know getting the desired results will not be easy in any of the matches, but we believe that if we play to our ability we will overcome this group. Turkmenistan will be a tough opponent in the opening game. Of course, we have been preparing for these matches for quite some time, so you know exactly what to do. We have our plans, and hopefully, proper execution of these plans will lead to three points tomorrow.” quoted the Head Coach, Bibiano Fernandes.


Since Bibano took over, the Blue Colts have shown what they are capable of. Currently, the Indian U-16 football team is on a consecutive 11-game winning streak. However, the coach believes every day to be a new learning opportunity. “The number of goals you have scored against a team does not matter. Every match day is a new day. You must respect your opponents at all times. Yes, you all want to make a name for yourselves and score goals. But do not be selfish,” continued Fernandes. “Look at Messi. He has so many assists. Whenever he sees Suarez or Dembele in space he gives it to them. And in life, you get back three times what you give. And thus, he scores so many goals.”


Coaching is familiar with teaching. It is not about just developing footballers; it is more about developing and screening the humans for tomorrow. “They are adolescents. They can get carried away with different things. Hence, it is best to teach them how to behave on and off the pitch from now itself. These are things that the kids would have been learning in school anyway,” says Fernandes.


The young guns are placed in Group B of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, alongside Turkmenistan (vs September 18), Bahrain (vs September 20), and hosts Uzbekistan (vs September 22).


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Also Read: Untold stories of Mumbai Football: Indomitable spirit of Kasif Jamal
Also Read: Sanchit Singh: I am looking forward to having a great season ahead

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