After the success of Indian Super League (ISL) last year, Indian football is certainly going places. On Wednesday, a young goalkeeper from Mohali created history by becoming the first Indian ever to play a competitive match for an top tier European side. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made his competitive debut for Norwegian club Stabaek with a clean sheet in a 6-0 thrashing of Runar in the Norwegian Football Cup. Stabbaek play in Norway's top division Tippeligaen and are managed by former United States and Egypt coach Bob Bradley.
For obvious reasons, 15th August is the most significant date in India's collective history. As the country marked its 68th Independence Day in 2014, a rather important moment for India and Indian football went largely unnoticed.
It was in famous red-and-gold East Bengal jersey that 17-year-old Baichung Bhutia came into prominence back in 1995 and after nearly two decades, one of India's greatest ever footballer is going to play what will be his final season in Indian club football.
The only Indian inductee in the Asian Football Federation's Hall of Fame, former captain Baichung Bhutia on Sunday dedicated the rare honour to the country's footballers who continue to "struggle against all odds to prove themselves every single day".
Mario Goetze scored the lone goal for Germany against Argentina to hand the former a World Cup Trophy after 24 years at the Maracana on Sunday. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia said that Germany played really well and were the outright champions in Brazil.
The Netherlands blanked sorry Brazil 3-0 to take the third place, whereas, Argentina and Germany will lock horns in the final on Sunday. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia said the final is a game between Lionel Messi and Thomas Mueller. He also added that Brazil were too dependent on Neymar as the hosts succumbed to their second successive loss.
Brazil overcame Colombia 2-1 as Neymar was stretchered off. He is going to miss the rest of the tournament. On the other hand, Germany pipped France 1-0 to set up Brazil showdown. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia said Neymar`s injury will be a big blow for Brazil. He also lauded James Rodriguez and cited he will win the Golden Boot award. He also praised Manuel Neuer in Germany`s victory.
As the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 start today, its battle of the world`s heavyweights who know a win could get them to the last-four. Germany are pitted against France as hosts Brazil face gritty Colombia. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia said that Hulk and Fred need to help Neymar for Brazil. He also added that the flu that hit several German players will be a blow against France.
In the round of 16, Argentina will face Switzerland in the first tie of the day post which Belgium will be up against a resolute USA. Baichung strongly feels that Switzerland still have a good chance to pull off an upset.
In the round of 16, France overcame resolute Nigeria, whereas, Germany beat Algeria in extra-time. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung said that France forced out a good result. And he also praised German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for his effort. Baichung also favoured Argentina to get a desired result against Switzerland in today`s tie.
In the round of 16, France will be up against Nigeria, whereas, Germany will lock horns with Algeria. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung said that France and Germany will have to face more of a physical challenge in their respective matches.
Brazil beat Chile in penalty shoot-out, whereas, James Rodriguez`s brace see Colombia blank Uruguay on Saturday. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung feels the host nation should have played well as Chile were the better team. He also praised Julio Cesar and James Rodriguez.
With Brazil take on Chile and Colombia meeting Suarez-less Uruguay on Saturday, the knock-out stage is set to take off. In an exclusive chat with Rishabh Sharma of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung feels Brazil will see the game off against Chile. He also said that the suspension was a bit too much for Luis Suarez and it is a big loss for Uruguay.