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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Sunil Chhetri is a big inspiration for all, says Indian defender Subhasish Bose ahead of Kuwait clash

Published at :June 3, 2024 at 7:55 PM
Modified at :June 3, 2024 at 10:33 PM
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Uttiyo Sarkar


The Mohun Bagan defender also mentioned the significance of the victory against Kuwait.

Indian Football Team are ready to host Kuwait in a vital 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier clash at the Salt Lake Stadium on June 6. The Blue Tigers are under pressure to get their first win of 2024 and also take a big step forward into progressing into the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Indian side’s experienced defender and Mohun Bagan captain, Subhasish Bose is likely to feature in the upcoming qualifiers. Ahead of the Kuwait clash, the defender reiterated the importance of this fixture – with it being Sunil Chhetri’s final one.

Subhasish Bose explained: “I feel that this match is the most important one for us as we could create history by getting into the third round of the qualifiers.

“The players are even more motivated knowing that Sunil Chhetri will play the final match and we all want his last match to be memorable. Hence that is extra motivational for us and we also know that winning this will help us directly qualify for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup and get into the third round of qualifying, thus this match is extremely important for us,” Subhasish Bose also added.

Can a previous win give India an added boost?

When asked if the previous win over Kuwait in November (2023) will give India more confidence for the upcoming one, Subhasish Bose stated: “That game won’t matter in giving us more confidence for the upcoming one. We’ve got a lot more time to prepare and have been able to know our strengths better. In the last (March) games, we didn’t get much time to prepare as the ISL was going on at that time.

“We’ve gotten to know ourselves better now and I think we’ll be able to play better football in front of our crowd. The Kolkata crowd is amazing, that is the best crowd that I feel can motivate us for 90 minutes and energize us to ensure that we can give our best for 90 minutes and win the match.”

Strengths of the Kuwait team

Subhasish Bose also opened up on the strengths of Kuwait that they’ve realized with their analysis, revealing: “Kuwait are a very strong team and they have some quality players, they have fast wingers who can score from long-range and also have very strong defenders. But our focus will be on ourselves to get a positive outcome.

“We need to be compact defensively and we have excellent talented players in the final third, and it’ll be our biggest objective to feed them. We’ll be patient and we have very good attacking players and we know that we will score goals and be able to get a result.”

The significance of winning the upcoming clash

Subhasish Bose also believes that winning the upcoming clash is more significant in giving joy to the fans than just to Chhetri as a perfect farewell gift. Subhasish Bose explained: “Chhetri bhai is a big inspiration for many youngsters and even for us. He’s an idol for us.

“He’ll be special for us always, but this match is for India because winning it would allow us to qualify for the third round. 140 crore people will want us to do even better in the qualifiers and make our country proud, so the match will be for them.

“It’ll be special because Sunil bhai has contributed so much to the nation with his dedication and he is among the top three active goalscorers in the world. He’s always made us feel proud and we’ll want the occasion to be memorable, so that will help us perform even better.”

Who can replace Chhetri up-front for India?

When questioned on if he feels anyone in the squad can replace Chhetri in that striker position, the Mohun Bagan star stated: “We have many young players. We have experienced players like Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh and Rahim Ali in the forward line. They will need to improve themselves and look to fill that spot. I’m pretty sure that these players will do much better if they get enough game-time as a striker.”

Subhasish Bose opens up on potentially getting India captain’s armband

Finally, when asked if he considers himself a possible heir to the India captaincy role after Chhetri’s departure, the Mohun Bagan skipper revealed: “On the field, every player needs to take responsibility and try to play with leadership. Whenever I get a chance in any position to help the team and try to lead them, I’ll give my best so that the team will perform to the best.

“I’ve learned a lot from Sunil bhai and the other senior players on how to lead a team, so I’ll try to replicate that so the team can perform even better going forward. I want to give my best for the future, and if the coach gives me the captaincy band I’ll also want to fulfill that role and will ensure the success of my team by trying to act like a strong leader,” Subhasish Bose finished with.

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