The Samba boys have been lapping up the adulation in the City of Joy.
“We want to give you all the support and love back and win it tomorrow for you,” Brazil U-17 Team Head Coach Carlos Amadeu showed his gratitude to Kolkata at the pre-match press conference before the much-anticipated Semi-final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 at the VYBK Stadium in Kolkata tomorrow (October 25, 2017).
“We will try to do the same whatever we have done in the competition so far and continue the work – to play the game in the Brazilian way. We want to give you back all the support and love and win tomorrow’s game”, Amadeu said.
The Amadeu-coached team outplayed European powerhouse Germany in the quarter-final at the same venue to set a Semi-final date with European U-16 Championship runners-up England who in the process, beat the USA in the quarter-final, courtesy a sublime hat-trick by Brewster.
Carlos Amadeu showed immense respect for the England U-17 team and the dazzling performance the Three Lions have dished out in the youth football of late.
“Not only the U-17 team but all the England youth teams have experienced great results recently. They have shown great development and I believe, they possess one of the best youth squads around the world. I believe both teams will start from the scratch tomorrow and there won’t be any favourites. It’ll be a great football match”, Amadeu commented.
“We haven’t seen something like this (66-thousand strong crowd at the VYBK stadium) in a long time and the atmosphere, the constant cheering from the stands reminded me of Maracana,” Amadeu had expressed after beating Germany in the quarter-final two days ago.
“It was really fantastic to be there. The way the fans turned up last night, we really thank them from the bottom of the heart. 66 thousand fans turning up is not something that you witness every day and the way they backed us, it was extraordinary.”
“We’re really happy to play the World cup here in India in front of you. The World Cup would not have been the same sans the Selecao”, Amadeu quipped.
He lavished huge praise for the colourful crowd who were present at the iconic VYBK Stadium during the quarter-final and went on to say that they deserve nothing less than a “perfect ten.”
“The way they celebrated our win, it really gave us a strong feeling of being at home. They were really polite and when we’re trailing to Germany, they didn’t lose the hope. That shows their love for Football and they deserve nothing less than a perfect ten.”
Meanwhile, it’ll be Brazil U-17 team’s eighth appearance in the last-four stage of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Though the Latin Americans clinched the silverware thrice (1997, 1999, 2003) before, it’s their first appearance in the semi-final since the 2011 edition.
“We are really happy to be here. Although we have reached the semi-final, we know we have more things to do. Even when we go into playing a friendly match, we don the Brazil jersey at the end of the day and that matters most to us”, Amadeu stated.
We will give whatever we can to get the result tomorrow- England coach Steve Cooper
England, who are brimming with confidence after outclassing the mighty USA in the quarter-final, are going to play their “biggest game so far” against Brazil in the semi-final tomorrow (October 25, 2017) to taste their maiden final appearance on the world stage in the U-17 age-group.
“Yes, we have been in a good touch until now and hopefully, we’ll stick to our plan and would push ourselves to execute it on the pitch against the mighty Brazil. The boys know the importance of this game and they are ready to play their biggest game of the tournament,” England U-17 team gaffer Steve Cooper said at the pre-match press conference at the VYBK Stadium.
“We have lots of respect for Brazil team and coach Amadeu. We will give whatever we can to get the result tomorrow”, Cooper showed his respect for the 3-time champion Selecao who got the better of Germany in the quarter-final to advance to the semi-final stage.
Having qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup thrice before, England could never reach the semi-final before 2017. Their best performance was back in 2007 and 2011 when they bowed out at the quarter-final stage following their defeats against Germany in both occasions.
“Yes, we are aware of the fact that we’re the first England team to qualify for the semi-final of U-17 World Cup. We are immensely proud of that. It rightly shows that the development process is on track and the hard work is being paid off.”
Cooper added more, “There has been really good work throughout and everyone right from the academies, clubs and FA are putting in their effort to attain the next level.”
Despite having netted 15 goals so far in the ongoing tournament, gaffer Steve Cooper sounded extremely cautious before tomorrow’s much-anticipated semi-final match.
“Our journey is yet to be finished. But our effort, the complete work needs to be recognised. The experience of staying throughout the full duration of the World Cup, almost 5 weeks, is simply invaluable in terms of long-term planning.”
England Youth teams have been on a dream run of late, having won the FIFA U-20 World Cup, UEFA U-19 Championship. Coach Cooper went on to say that their success will add ‘more motivation and inspiration’ to his troop.
“Their success will add more motivation and inspiration to us and hopefully, we can emulate their success here.”
The European U-17 Runners-up have enjoyed 100% success at the VYBK Stadium so far and the coach expressed his pleasure coming back to Kolkata before the humdinger.
“We had a wonderful time at Kolkata in the group stage and the Knockout game. We’re excited to come back to Kolkata once again. We’re enjoying our relationship with everyone – right from the hotel staff, management, media back here”, the 37-year old coach said.
Meanwhile, he expressed that his boys will have a real test playing in front of a huge number of Selecao fans but it’ll add more to their experience in future.
“It has been absolutely brilliant so far. We had a great experience playing here. We know that our opposition will enjoy the lion’s share of support tomorrow. But, our boys should get used to that and it’ll add to their experience. It’ll be really great if we can turn them into our way”, Cooper quipped. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 05:00 PM.