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In 1948, when the Indian National Team burst into the International scene at the London Olympics, they were widely regarded as a bunch of “barefooted genius.” Led by the Late T. Aao, a Doctor by profession and a midfielder with Kolkata’s Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, the Indians took the World by storm when they went down narrowly to France 1-2 after missing two spot kicks in a keenly fought encounter.
Three years later in 1951, the same bunch of barefooted players, this time Captained by the Late Sailen Manna, had a wonderful gift for the newly-Independent Nation as they bagged the Gold Medal in the inaugural Asian Games in New Delhi in the presence of India’s first Prime Minister, the Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Since then, the Indian National Team have come a long way to establish themselves as true Ambassadors of India’s sporting ideas. Always a highly disciplined lot on and off the field, the Indians have won many International Tournaments like Asian Games Football Gold Medal (1962), Pesta Sukan tournament (1971), LG Cup (2002), Nehru Cup (2007, 2009 and 2011) and the AFC Challenge Cup (2008).
In 1998 India also won the FIFA-AFC recognised Bristol Cup which was held in Colombo. India defeated hosts Sri Lanka 1-0 in the Final in the Tournament which was held to commemorate Golden Jubilee celebrations of Sri Lanka’s Independence.
Presently the National Team is currently going through a period of transition. The appointment of reputed Dutch Coach Wim Koevermans and Technical Director Robert Baan has brought in new ideas that are being rapidly implemented by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
With an intention to gain experience, the National Team is now being given regular Exposure Tours at the International level. Recent triumphs in the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 and the Nehru Cups has given the team a new lease of life.
Posted on : Saturday May 18, 2019
Posted on : Friday May 17, 2019
Posted on : Thursday May 16, 2019