New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar lead the queue of best wishes pouring in for the Indian football team that will mark its historic presence at the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Friday.
India take on the USA in their first Group A fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital at 8 p.m.
The PM extended a "warm welcome" to all the 24 participating teams, while Tendulkar was joined by fellow former cricketer VVS Laxman to say best of the luck to the team that will be the first from the country to participate in any FIFA World Cup.
India's football great Bhaichung Bhutia posted a cute video along with his children accompanied by the message "the world cup is here, good luck boys".
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, meanwhile, tweeted: "The country is with you, all the way."
The Indian men's hockey squad was not to be left behind and stood together in one frame while posting a video wishing the team.
Here are all those messages:
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 6, 2017
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 5, 2017
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) October 6, 2017
— sreejesh p r (@16Sreejesh) October 6, 2017
Finally, the World Cup is here. Good luck boys! pic.twitter.com/UGyir17ei9
— Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) October 6, 2017
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 5, 2017
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) October 5, 2017
Big day today for the @IndianFootball U17 boys!
Representing is an honour and a great experience.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) October 6, 2017
— Jasprit bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) October 6, 2017
After their opening match on Friday, the hosts will take on Colombia on October 9 and Ghana on October 12.