Indian women’s football team head coach Thomas Dennerby feels the upcoming matches against the likes of mighty Brazil in an international tournament in the South American country will give a fair idea of where the side stands ahead of the AFC Asian Cup next year.
The Indian team leaves for Brazil on Saturday for a four-nation tournament at Manaus, beginning on November 25, where it will play against the host, Chile and Venezuela.
“This tour and everything we have been doing in the past two months is about the preparation for the AFC Women’s Cup which kicks off in January,” Dennerby said prior to the team’s departure.
“It is all about finding out whether we are doing the right things on the pitch and evaluate our performances in each and every department,” he added.
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The Swede had earlier said that the Indian defence will face its toughest ever test against former World Cup runner-up Brazil in the tournament.
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.
Dennerby hinted that positive results against three strong teams may not be the sole aim of the campaign.
“We are going to play three good quality games now, the first game against Brazil will be important. The second game against Chile and the third game which will be against Venezuela, both are good teams but not at the level of Brazil.
“The most important thing is to come home with three good performances and nothing else,” said Dennerby, who has named a 23-member squad.
This is the first time that any senior Indian football team will play against Brazil, and the excitement within the camp is running high.
However, captain Ashalata Devi said the team has its own objectives also which the players will focus on.
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“There is a lot of excitement in the camp because Brazil are a very good football team, and we follow a lot of the Brazilian players ourselves. We admire them and there is a lot to learn from them as well. It is a big motivation for all of us,” she said.
The Brazillian football body has already named the full squad for the tournament, which included legends of the game like Marta da Silva and Formiga Mota.
“But we also have our own objectives to reach on the pitch, and we will try to reach them as best we can. I always tell the girls to respect every opponent no matter their ranking, but never to fear any of them,” Ashalata said.