Current India U-16 batch can qualify for FIFA U-17 World Cup, says Vikram Partap Singh

Former India U-16 National Team captain Vikram Partap Singh believes that the current batch under head coach Bibiano Fernandes is better than his own batch that was 90 minutes away from direct qualification for the FIFA U-17 World Cup two years ago.

In a live chat with AIFF TV, Vikram said, “I have seen the current U-16 team and I believe that they are better than us and if they keep performing the way they have been, then they can qualify for the (U-17) World Cup.”

“There is so much work being done on the youth level. I feel that our U-16 teams will keep qualifying for the AFC Championships every time, and hopefully, we could play a World Cup very soon.

“The current batch has such good control over the ball, it is just amazing to watch them,” Vikram, who had led the India side to the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championships 2018 in Malaysia, continued.

Reflecting on his formative years in football, Vikram said that the fact that India was hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 motivated him to work hard to make his way up the ranks.

“It was always a dream to represent India in a World Cup. So when I heard that India will be hosting the U-17 World Cup, I was really excited,” the youngster quipped.

“I used to train with Amarjit (India’s captain at the FIFA U-17 World Cup) in Chandigarh and I got really motivated when I saw that he was selected for the World Cup squad.”

Vikram went on to be selected for the India U-16s later on and led the team that progressed past the likes of Indonesia, Iran and Vietnam from the Group Stage to the quarterfinals, where they faced Korea Republic.

Reaching the semifinal would have ensured a direct spot in next year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup. However, the Blue Colts went down fighting by a 0-1 margin.

“It was really heartbreaking to be so close, yet so far. We knew that as a team, we could have played the World Cup as we had really worked hard, and it was visible,” said Vikram, who made the step up to professional level with the AIFF’s developmental side Indian Arrows in the Hero I-League.

“Given the opportunity of a rematch, I think we could have progressed, but that is not to be.”

The former U-16 captain further went on to praise goalkeeper Niraj Kumar, who had put out a fine display during the tournament — conceding a solitary goal in the four matches that India played and saving a crucial penalty against Iran.

“Niraj had performed really well that time. Had he not saved that penalty against Iran, the results could have been very different. His presence between the sticks calmed the rest of us, and we outfielders could play more freely, knowing that he was manning the back,” Vikram averred.



Also Read: Quarantine Diaries – Alexander Romario Jesuraj

Also Read: Gaurs launches the new Uzzo Jersey, the club’s official home kit for the 2020/21 season

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…


FC Hydra invites all aspiring footballers in Bengaluru for a Trial

FC Hydra will be holding trials for all the aspiring footballers for the upcoming KSFA C Division League. The club has previously held trials for the Women’s team for the…


Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Women’s Football Team on the 25th of February at Goan’s Sports Ground in Churchgate. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…


IKF to dispense free international football exposure for children in India

India Khelo Football (IKF) is a non-profit platform aimed at providing kids from India a fair chance to pursue their dream of playing football internationally. IKF shares its vision to…


IDBI Bank to hold trials for a central defender

After successfully conducting their first round of trials on 21st November, MDFA Super Division outfit are now looking to conduct another trial in search of Central Defenders. With football resuming,…


Chedda Nagar FC set to conduct trials for MDFA Super Division

Chedda Nagar Football Fanatics will be conducting trials to reform their MDFA Super Division squad. Being established in 2011, Chedda Nagar is a renowned name in Mumbai football. The team…


IDBI Bank to host trials for MDFA Super Division

With football resuming, IDBI Bank will be conducting trials for the upcoming MDFA Season. The team will participate in the Super Division and will be seen conducting their first round…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 19th and 21st of November simultaneously. Sara FA…


FC Hydra to hold trials for women footballers in Bengaluru

FC Hydra will be holding trials for women footballers for the upcoming BDFA A division Women’s league. The club is based out of Bengaluru. FC Hydra will be holding trials…


NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC is club based in Dadar who have registered themselves in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2020-21 season. The club will be holding trials for the same. Mauli…