Legendary German footballer Lothar
Matthaus believes that the current Indian team has the quality
be hosted by the UAE.
India, who have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup
commencing on January 5, 2019, are clubbed with hosts UAE,
Thailand and Bahrain.
"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.
"When I saw the group in which they (India) are to
the next round," Matthaus said Wednesday at a media briefing
The 57-year-old former soccer player is on a
promotional visit to India.
"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
India should approach the AFC Asian Cup.
Matthaus, who has appeared in five World Cups from
1982-1998, was also optimistic that India could think of
"You cannot change from one day to another the results
of Indian football. This needs time. May be in eight-ten years
you (it) will not come in 2022, but in 2026 and 2030 you
(India) have a good chance," the Germany and Bundesliga great
Walking down memory lane, Matthaus recalled his on-
field rivalry against Argentina great Diego Maradona.
"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.
Argentina under Maradona, Germany lifted the 1990 edition held
in Italy when Mathaus led his nation.
Meanwhile, on his maiden India visit, the FC Bayern
Munich great Tuesday visited an Indian Super League (ISL) game
in Kochi between Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC.
On Thursday, he is set to witness another ISL game to
be played in Mumbai.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)