Legendary German footballer Lothar Matthaus believes that the current Indian team has the quality to make it to the next round of the upcoming AFC Asian Cup, to be hosted by the UAE.
"I have to tell honestly that I am not a specialist about all Asian football. I know the top countries who play mostly in the World Cup. But I generally follow football not only in Asia but also in South America.
"The UAE is the favourite and they are home game for them. But you (India) have the quality in your team to make strong competition against Bahrain and against Thailand and then everything is possible," said the ex-Germany captain who led his country to the 1990 World Cup title when asked how India should approach the AFC Asian Cup.
"You cannot change from one day to another the results of Indian football. This needs time. May be in eight-ten years you (India) can think about World Cup qualification. I am sure you (it) will not come in 2022, but in 2026 and 2030 you (India) have a good chance," the Germany and Bundesliga great noted.
"I had different jobs. In 1986 (World Cup), my job was to stop (Diego) Maradona. In 1990, we had another player to stop Maradona and I was playing more in the offence and you see we had better results.
"Maradona in 86 was different than in 1990. 1986 was his World Cup; 1990 he was not playing on his highest level. And it was good for us (Germans) and not so good for Argentina, but generally we were a better team and were more stable than in 1986. It was always an honour for me to play against Diego Maradona," he said.
On Thursday, he is set to witness another ISL game to be played in Mumbai.
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