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Matthaus backs India to make it to next round in AFC Asian Cup

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Legendary German 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.

India, who have qualified for the commencing on January 5, 2019, are clubbed with hosts UAE, and

"I have to tell honestly that I am not a specialist about all Asian I know the top countries who play mostly in But I generally follow not only in but also in

"When I saw the group in which they (India) are to play (in the AFC Asian Cup), it is possible for to go to the next round," Matthaus said Wednesday at a here.

The 57-year-old former is on a promotional visit to

"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 and against and then everything is possible," said the ex-who led his country to title when asked how should approach the

Matthaus, who has appeared in five World Cups from 1982-1998, was also optimistic that India could think of qualifying for in another 8-10 years.

"You cannot change from one day to another the results of Indian 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 and great noted.

Walking down memory lane, Matthaus recalled his on- field rivalry against great

"I had different jobs. In 1986 (World Cup), my job was to stop (Diego) Maradona. In 1990, we had another 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.

While played in was won by under Maradona, lifted the 1990 edition held in when Mathaus led his nation.

Meanwhile, on his maiden India visit, the FC Bayern Munich great Tuesday visited an (ISL) game in Kochi between Kerala Blasters and

On Thursday, he is set to witness another ISL game to be played in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 20:40 IST