With the Fifa World Cup days away, India and Bangalore FC captain Sunil Chhetri picks Messi, Argentina’s Di María, Japan’s Keisuke Honda as his favourite. Read his interview below to know which team he feels is the best.
Brazil will be under a lot of pressure and Spain is in a tough group. Who are you backing to win the World Cup this time?
Brazil and Argentina will be tough to beat in conditions they are familiar with. And Uruguay has always been the dark horse. Of course, the Europeans such as Germany, Italy and Spain will be the other teams to watch out for. Germany is always good as a unit and Spain are the reigning world champions. I am generally a big Spain and Barcelona supporter. I like the way they play the game. Even though Spain is in a tough group, they will take each match as it comes. It is a huge tournament and even though they are in a group along with World Cup runners-up Netherlands, Chile and the physically tough Australia, I think they can raise their game when it matters.
Who are your favourite players?
Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina has to be at the top of my chart. Then Argentina’s Di María, Japan’s Keisuke Honda, the entire German squad. Argentina’s Sergio Agüero, Maradona’s son-in-law, is another exciting talent and when one talks about Portugal, how can one not talk about Cristiano Ronaldo?
Most football fans in India are TV driven and support club teams in the EPL and other European leagues. How do you think the game can grow in the country at the grassroot?
The popularity of the I-League [India’s national football league] is growing in the country. With Bangalore FC we’ve made a good start. In this season we got packed houses for each match as well as travelling supporters. That is the way forward. Clubs should build a loyal fan base with the optimum use of social networking. Also, women and children should be a big part of our support base.