Senior National Team
Subhasish Bose looks for silver lining in Qatar
05 Jan 2024

Soumo Ghosh
AIFF Media Team

DOHA, QATAR: The Blue Tigers squad is ever-evolving, with new players always giving competition to the established ones. The side that played the 2019 edition of the AFC Asian Cup is starkly different from the one currently preparing for the 2023 edition in Doha, Qatar.

However, some like defender Subhasish Bose are on the verge of playing at the continental level for the second consecutive time, which means that the experience they can dole out to the younger lot, could come in handy in crucial situations.

“We had started well in 2019 against Thailand but then lost the next two matches, which eventually knocked us out. We fought, we gave it our all right until the bitter end,” Bose said to

There is, however, a silver lining to all clouds, and for Bose, that came in the form of a second shot at the Asian Cup after the Blue Tigers sealed their spot in the tournament proper after the qualification campaign in 2022, in Kolkata. Armed with the knowledge gained from the last edition, India are ready to have another go.

“Yes, we were devastated after in 2019, but as they say, for any sportsperson, it’s important to have the memory of a goldfish in such circumstances,” said Bose. “Every setback is an opportunity to learn, and those of us here today have experienced that, and are helping the younger lot with that knowledge.

“The good thing is that most of them have already played so many matches for the National Team before the Asian Cup, I think that this will turn out to be a very good opportunity for them to prove their mettle against the very best of Asia,” said Subhasish.

India have been drawn in Group B of the AFC Asian Cup, against Australia (January 13), Uzbekistan (January 18), and Syria (January 23). The 28-year-old feels that the team have shown that they can hold ground against the best in the continent, and it is a matter of turning up with the best intent.

“The Asian Cup is the biggest tournament for us, so we are all stoked to be here. We’ve had a few training sessions here in Doha, and I can say that everyone is putting in their full effort, and it’s going to be the same in the matches as well,” he said. “We will give it our best shot, no matter who the opponents, or what the outcome.”

The Blue Tigers enjoyed a rapturous welcome at the Hamad International Airport in Doha, where they were greeted by the Indians living in Qatar. With the stands expected to be brimming with Indian fans, the Blue Tigers fullback feels thankful.

“We are fortunate to play for India. No matter where we go abroad, we always have healthy support from the stands, especially in the Middle East. We were welcomed so warmly at the airport, hundreds of Indians had come to greet us,” said Bose. “And now we are hearing that a lot of the Indian fans will be coming to our matches, which will really boost us. You always get an extra chip on your shoulder when you get support from the galleries.

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