Argentine great Pablo Aimer and coach Lionel Scaloni felt "good things" await India's U-20 players in international football, says Floyd Pinto, an engineer, who engineered the country's one of the most memorable triumphs in the sport.
After scripting a stunning 2-1 victory over Argentina U-20 in the COTIF Cup in Spain, the Indian team returned today morning amid fanfare.
"Yesterday, just before leaving we had an interaction with Pablo Aimer and their head coach Lionel Scaloni, both are World Cuppers and Aimer is a legend in Valencia. Both of them had really good words for our players, they said we played with a lot of passion, we ran a lot and we never gave up, never made it easy for them," coach Pinto told PTI.
He added:"They were surprised by the way we performed. They encouraged us a lot and said that if this group plays for another two or three years they can achieve some good things in international football."
Pinto said that he's happy as "the team improved as the tournament progressed and expressed optimism of keeping the momentum.
"It still feels like a dream, but if you want to move ahead as a footballing nation, you need to ruffle some feathers. I think we have done that. And it's credit to SAI, credit to AIFF, president Praful Patel, (general secretary) Kushal Das.
"We have had the vision of playing such teams. If we can compete with these teams on a regular basis and we know on our day if we can stay organised, stay focussed such results are possible."
While Scaloni is the Argentine coach, Aimer works as its technical director.
"We could understand that they (Argentina) were very emotional that they lost to India. But like I said if we want to move ahead in football we have to compete against such teams and there will be upsets like that.
"Only then the world can step up and take notice of what's happening in Indian football. I would like more results like that."
Both Aimar and Scaloni had dropped into the Indian camp to have a chat with the Indian players.
"The vision is there to play and compete. We no longer want to go out of India to have training camps, and we no longer want to go out of India to play academy teams. We want to play against national teams, in competitive tournaments. We are not afraid of playing against the likes of Argentina, Venezuela.
"Now we play against Croatia, Slovenia and France. The aim is to play against these high calibre teams, only the we can learn whether we can compete with them. We realised that if we can compete and perform for 90 minutes at this level, we can cause an upset. And that's the only way these boys are going to learn.
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