New Delhi: Indian women’s football team head coach Thomas Dennerby on Thursday announced a squad of 23 players that will travel to Manaus, Brazil to play in a four-nation tournament, where they will play against the hosts, Chile and Venezuela.
With the team set to depart on Saturday, Dennerby stated that all three matches will be tough as they are against “extremely technical” sides.
“Brazil are a really good team. No other team, since I have arrived, has tested our defence as much as Brazil will do next week,” said Dennerby.
“In the second game, Chile is another extremely technical side, but with all the hard work we have been doing, we have also raised our levels. The game against Venezuela will also be a particularly tough one for us,” the coach added.
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The team, ranked 57 in the FIFA rankings, will face off against world No. 7 Brazil on November 25, Chile (world No. 37) on November 28, and Venezuela (world No. 56) on December 1.
The Confedera o Brasileira de Desportos (CBF) has already named the full squad for Brazil, which also contains legends of the game like Marta da Silva and Formiga Mota.
Dennerby believes that both the veteran Brazilians are brilliant role models for footballers worldwide and said the Indian players are looking forward to playing against them.
“They have a very good squad with stars like Marta and Formiga. The girls are all looking forward to it. It’s the first time that they will play a team of such stature, and it will be good experience for them all,” Dennerby stated.
“For sure, when we meet them, we need to thank them for being the role models for football that they have been. They have shown that you don’t need to quit football when you are 30-31. It’s all about performance and keep playing as long as you can. They are super good role models.”
While the Indian team will face some difficult opponents, the players will approach the matches with no fear.
“I always tell the girls to show respect for all the opponents. They may be ranked number one in the world or number 105, but we need to show everyone their due respect,” stated Dennerby.
“But of course, I also tell them to never fear any opponent, regardless of their rank. Of course, the Brazil game will be much tougher than the Venezuela one, but we play hard in both of them.”
November 25: Brazil vs India
ovember 28: India vs Chile
December 1: India vs Venezuela
Goalkeepers: Aditi Chauhan, M Linthoingambi Devi, Sowmiya Narayasamy.
Defenders: Dalima Chhibber, Sweety Devi, Ritu Rani, Ashalata Devi, Manisa Panna, Shilky Devi, Ranjana Chanu, W Linthoingambi Devi.
Midfielders: Indumathi Kathiresan, Sanju, Anju Tamang, Martina Thokchom, Karthika Angamuthu, Kamala Devi.
Forwards: Manisha Kalyan, Pyari Xaxa, Renu, Dangmei Grace, Soumya Guguloth, Mariyammal Balamurugan.