Will India & China produce world-class footballers soon?

Haddock

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More than 2 billion people combined. You just know there is talent to be discovered but the scouting infrastructure probably is still lacking. But, will that change? Can we see world-class players coming from these two countries in the next 50 years?
I don't mean you OP, but most people don't seem to understand the sheer effort it takes to make a system that produces quality talent. Indian children begin playing football at age 10 not at 5-6. Schools have woeful infrastructure for sports at the best of times and the cities are not designed with children and playgrounds in mind.

A decade ago you could count the number of licensed Indian coaches on one (maybe two) hands and I had probably met most of them. I do know some people who are doing a great job of drilling the fundamentals in 5-10 year olds. These kids already play at an unimaginably high level compared to 14-16 year olds a decade ago. There's plenty of talent about, that's not a concern.

Cricket in India is supported by big business at the grassroots level. The big metros have dozens of clubs, cricket leagues, company teams and so on. Families have the sport running in their blood. Religious communities have support for their own. Retired senior pros do plenty of mentoring. Shops sell first rate equipment and there are thousands of excellent coaches at junior level. And despite all that, it is only in these last 10 years that India has stepped up its domination of that sport and now the national team is made up of people from nearly every strata of society.

Look at football daft countries like Egypt and Algeria. Even they struggle to produce world class talent on a consistent basis. In my lifetime Egypt have produced good players but Mo Salah is the only world-class player to emerge.

The only way India will produce serious talent is if a big club scouts kids early and brings them over, or establishes an academy. This is a decades long project.
 

Foxbatt

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I didn't manage to catch Hani Ramzi's age, but from what I heard about him he was very good indeed. He joined Bundesliga champion back then.

Ultimately our successful or known players bar Salah world wide were only Ramzi, Zidan, Mido, Ahmed Hassan and Elneny. Salah is head and shoulder ahead of them no question. Zidan and Ramzi are probably 2nd. Hassan was successful but he spent his years in Turkey and Belgium, and Mido.. Oh boy.

It's a little bit shit, because if you checked the Egyptian team of the 2008-2010 it has ton of players with potential world class but none of them played abroad.

Our current generation of players is trash though. Salah is the only exception. It's evident from the last AFCON debacle.
I saw Hany and he was a very classy CB in the mode of a libero. Hossam Hassan was another top player. My intake is that talent wise they can compete but it's the application that's missing.
Amin Dabo was the one I mentioned. I know he played in Egypt and was born there but he played for Saudi Arabia. I had a friend who played with him when he was in Cairo university.
 

LoneStar

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I dont think cricket is a limiting factor for India. Lots of kids these days are getting into football early.

The problem is there is no infrastructure or scouting systems in place. I can't forsee it catching up anytime soon. I think the same applies to pretty much every sport other than cricket. There's no hope unless the government decides to help with this.
 

spiriticon

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Chinese put all their efforts into training for badminton, table tennis and snooker.

Football is kind of an afterthought.
 

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The best egyptian player - perhaps bar Mo Salah - is without a doubt Mohamed Aboutrika. I'd put him in a bracket with Reus and Cazorla, world class players just shy of the absolute top elite like Ribéry or Iniesta.

Mo Aboutrika - Youtube
 

paraguayo

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I would think so, but as a Brazilian I think to myself, will Brazil ever produce a world class cricket player? And I would say never that will happen. But then again soccer is much more popular in India than cricket in Brazil
 

Hugh Jass

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You have to get kids playing football by themselves really. In Brazil they start playing football on the streets. In India they are playing cricket on the streets. I dont think the chinese are interested in playing it really. Just watching it as one poster says.
 

GazTheLegend

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I vaguely remember a quote from a European coach in China along the lines of "the culture is too individualistic in Chinese football, it's really hard to install a team first attitude in China, every player wants to win by themselves" which surprised me for a lot of reasons, not least of which the entire country is supposed to be a giant team.

I would love to see some prominent Chinese and Indian players start to come to the fore, India loves Manchester United from what I know, but you'd think we'd have seen a few championship level players by now at least. It's odd.
 

anant

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I dont think cricket is a limiting factor for India. Lots of kids these days are getting into football early.

The problem is there is no infrastructure or scouting systems in place. I can't forsee it catching up anytime soon. I think the same applies to pretty much every sport other than cricket. There's no hope unless the government decides to help with this.
Football's becoming more popular in well off families in metros like Delhi. And unless you have some parents who demand the kid becomes a pro or the kid has some unbelievable determination, the chances that he'd have worked hard enough is quite low. Then there's obviously the question of the level of competition he'll be playing at which is certainly not that high and lastly is the luck factor - would he be spotted by a scout (as there are so few of them here)
 

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The only way this can happen in India is if the government funds European clubs to open proper academies in India with a commitment of atleast 10 to 15 years and concentrate on getting 10/12 year olds enrolled in it.
Once we get a few players actually managing to get into clubs in Europe, the following will increase as more kids and their parents will start looking at it as a career.
 

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I've been working inside the Indian Football ecosystem since the last 4 years.

And while there has been some progress and positives. Having seen everything so closely I can very confidently answer the OP with a firm NO.

Atleast for India that is. Can't say about China.
 

Ephrem

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If China wants, I firmly believe they can produce footballer who can play at the highest levels. But I can firmly say that Indian won't produce world-class footballers any time soon, not in this century. And, I'm an Indian.

The underlying problem is that less than .1 % of the population sees sports as a profession. And, parents won't ever agree to that option even. It's all about academics here, and parents want their kids to be either Engineers or Doctors; few talented ones might pursue Cricket, but football - not many.

Even if one is passionate and talented, the next issue is that the infrastructure or government support doesn't exist. Only the privileged ones can even dream about playing football on reasonable grounds - that's the harsh reality.

Also, the stamina levels fall way short; we don't have the pace, size or power to compete at the highest levels of football. It's more of a genetics issue and will require intense training that should start when a kid is like 6-8 years old, and I firmly believe that not one parent thinks about getting their kid to learn football professionally at that age.

Another thing is technique and game understanding. It has come in leaps and bounds in the last 10 years but still falls short. Hopefully, this will keep improving.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of these will change in the next few decades - to produce football players that can play at the highest levels requires a sheer amount of effort, and I just don't see any parent/government has that kind of patience here. The only way is if some of the big clubs start an academy here and sponsor the best-performing ones, then there is a teeny tiny possibility that one could make it to the highest level. I would love to see that happening in my lifetime, but not very hopeful.
 

hmchan

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If China wants, I firmly believe they can produce footballer who can play at the highest levels. But I can firmly say that Indian won't produce world-class footballers any time soon, not in this century. And, I'm an Indian.

The underlying problem is that less than .1 % of the population sees sports as a profession. And, parents won't ever agree to that option even. It's all about academics here, and parents want their kids to be either Engineers or Doctors; few talented ones might pursue Cricket, but football - not many.

Even if one is passionate and talented, the next issue is that the infrastructure or government support doesn't exist. Only the privileged ones can even dream about playing football on reasonable grounds - that's the harsh reality.

Also, the stamina levels fall way short; we don't have the pace, size or power to compete at the highest levels of football. It's more of a genetics issue and will require intense training that should start when a kid is like 6-8 years old, and I firmly believe that not one parent thinks about getting their kid to learn football professionally at that age.

Another thing is technique and game understanding. It has come in leaps and bounds in the last 10 years but still falls short. Hopefully, this will keep improving.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of these will change in the next few decades - to produce football players that can play at the highest levels requires a sheer amount of effort, and I just don't see any parent/government has that kind of patience here. The only way is if some of the big clubs start an academy here and sponsor the best-performing ones, then there is a teeny tiny possibility that one could make it to the highest level. I would love to see that happening in my lifetime, but not very hopeful.
China is facing the exact same problems as you have mentioned.
 

Desert Eagle

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China is facing the exact same problems as you have mentioned.
Look at the difference in the Olympic systems of the two countries. India also has the cricket problem where there is a gigantic nationalistic sport that consumes all others.
 

crossy1686

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India nor China won't produce world class footballers anytime soon, just like America won't.

They can be great at school year group level but everything falls apart when they hit 16+ due to funding going to other sports and the coaching being of a poor standard.
 

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Short answer no.

Football is not popular in India, they basically don't give a shit about football. China, in contrast football is quite popular and both the country and government do want to develope their football however:

1. They have invested heavily in the youth system but in a wrong way. Many youth football academies were established across the country but their purpose was not to develop the young players but money. You have to pay to learn football there. The poor can't afford and the above average don't want their kid to play in such "dangerous and physically combative sport". And both want their single kid to study instead of playing sports. It's just a different mindset.

2. Their league is heavily rigged with corruption. A player get to play mostly because of his connection or money not talent.

3. Their whole national football is just for show. For the government it's politic. For the rich owners of the clubs it's for the favor of the local government to bid for projects. Or just to show off how rich they are.

4. Genetically asians is not physically good as europeans, americans or africans. There's a huge gap between tbf.

So, for India to produce good football players you have to make them love football first. For China you have to get rid of the corruption and change their mindset so they'd allow their kids to play sport over studying. Both won't happen anytime soon or I'd say both are very unlikely to happen at all. So no.
 

Inigo Montoya

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Short answer no.

Football is not popular in India, they basically don't give a shit about football. China, in contrast football is quite popular and both the country and government do want to develope their football however:

1. They have invested heavily in the youth system but in a wrong way. Many youth football academies were established across the country but their purpose was not to develop the young players but money. You have to pay to learn football there. The poor can't afford and the above average don't want their kid to play in such "dangerous and physically combative sport". And both want their single kid to study instead of playing sports. It's just a different mindset.

2. Their league is heavily rigged with corruption. A player get to play mostly because of his connection or money not talent.

3. Their whole national football is just for show. For the government it's politic. For the rich owners of the clubs it's for the favor of the local government to bid for projects. Or just to show off how rich they are.

4. Genetically asians is not physically good as europeans, americans or africans. There's a huge gap between tbf.

So, for India to produce good football players you have to make them love football first. For China you have to get rid of the corruption and change their mindset so they'd allow their kids to play sport over studying. Both won't happen anytime soon or I'd say both are very unlikely to happen at all. So no.
Where did you get the information that football isn’t popular and they don’t give a shit? I’d be interested to see the evidence.

There’s some stereotyping that I find problematic and rather offensive
 

Strelok

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Where did you get the information that football isn’t popular and they don’t give a shit? I’d be interested to see the evidence.

There’s some stereotyping that I find problematic and rather offensive
It's not a stereotype but it's really hard to find any evidence for that.

You may read some here or do some google searches and you'd see I think:

https://www.quora.com/How-popular-is-Football-in-India

There's some football fans in India for sure. But they support and watch foreign teams, especially of the PL instead of the Indian teams.
 

elmo

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Never understand why China, with such large population, lots of money and love of watching football, never able to produce even 1 worldclass player. I mean, they are good at other sports, won lots of gold medals in Olympic, and even produce some big NBA star. But why not in football?
Because most of the talented youths gets snapped up by other sports at a younger age that you're basically left with those who can't make the cut for the other sports.
 

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vikesh dhorasoo- of Lyon and France (some international caps). Of Indian origin. Best player of south Asian roots I’ve seen. Classy playmaker who featured in Champions League
Man, I loved Vikash Dhorasoo as a player, but he's such a weird guy off the pitch, very entitled.
Anyway, he was born and raised in France and trained in France, that makes a huge difference. And I'm not sure he could have had the same level of success today with the huge emphasis on physical attributes at every level.
 

Inigo Montoya

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It's not a stereotype but it's really hard to find any evidence for that.

You may read some here or do some google searches and you'd see I think:

https://www.quora.com/How-popular-is-Football-in-India

There's some football fans in India for sure. But they support and watch foreign teams, especially of the PL instead of the Indian teams.
Your post and views are really full of contradictions.

You say that no one gives a shit but then suggest “there’s some football fans.” Which is it? Not popular or there are some fans? There’s evidence to suggest that it’s extremely popular and second behind cricket, which has an almost fanatical and religious following.
Many of the national cricket team have football allegiances.

Of course many Indians probably follow the PL but that’s hardly evidence that they don’t give a shit. Many African fans follow the PL for many reasons but if the infrastructure isn’t there it’s going to transpire that they’ll follow big European sides. The cultural appropriation of African footballers over the last few years has resulted in the talent being syphoned to wealthy European sides.
Where Asian football and Indian football is concerned, the investment into football isn’t anywhere near as heavy as it is in cricket. This doesn’t equate to a lack of interest or genetic traits. The build of Asians as a reason for not succeeding is a myth. Environmental factors especially linked to education and financial recourse are probably more valid reasons.

Imran Khan once said when he led a very talented Pakistani cricket team to WC glory that there were more cricket grounds and facilities in Sussex than there were in the whole of Pakistan. There are more junior football clubs with a highly developed infrastructure in my county of Essex than there are most Indian states.

There’s a wealth of untapped talent in China and India, and most probably the whole South Asian area.
 

Mshafeek

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It's not a stereotype but it's really hard to find any evidence for that.

You may read some here or do some google searches and you'd see I think:

https://www.quora.com/How-popular-is-Football-in-India

There's some football fans in India for sure. But they support and watch foreign teams, especially of the PL instead of the Indian teams.
If you were to take the number of people following football in India rather than the percentage, it would be comparable to many so called 'footballing' nations. And it is growing very fast. I live in one of the more football minded parts of India, and here the younger ones are into football as much as, if not more than, they are into cricket. Why India would not produce world class talent has to do with the systemic failure that is a reality in developing nations.
 

Ephrem

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China is facing the exact same problems as you have mentioned.
Yes, some problems are similar, but not all. I believe they are way better equipped to produce footballers at the highest levels; it looks like they are just not interested. That's why I mentioned that China can produce high-level footballers if they want - they just need to give more importance to the same. The difference between India and China is that many Chinese do see sports as a career option; that's not the case in India. It is just that China is not giving the same level of importance to football as Badminton or Table Tennis, or gymnastics.

Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal in the Olympics because his family was privileged enough to provide all the training from a young age. That's the difference.
 

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Yes, some problems are similar, but not all. I believe they are way better equipped to produce footballers at the highest levels; it looks like they are just not interested. That's why I mentioned that China can produce high-level footballers if they want - they just need to give more importance to the same. The difference between India and China is that many Chinese do see sports as a career option; that's not the case in India. It is just that China is not giving the same level of importance to football as Badminton or Table Tennis, or gymnastics.

Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal in the Olympics because his family was privileged enough to provide all the training from a young age. That's the difference.
The millions of athletes in India would disagree with that notion. Sure Indian families are more conservative about education and career choices, but when have kids always done what their parents wanted for them? A lot of Cricketers, Wrestlers, Shooters, Boxers, Hockey players, and yes footballers in India come from very humble backgrounds. The main reason India doesn't produce good footballers is because there is a lack of proper coaching and infrastructure to take talented 12-16 year olds and really develop their game in terms of technique and fitness. A lot of people play football pretty regularly with their mates and a lot of them when they were young had they been born in Europe might have made it, but there really is no discernible pathway for a talented 15 year old to progress their career short of giving up full time education and committing fully to a sport that doesn't pay all that great even at the top level in the country.
 

hmchan

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Yes, some problems are similar, but not all. I believe they are way better equipped to produce footballers at the highest levels; it looks like they are just not interested. That's why I mentioned that China can produce high-level footballers if they want - they just need to give more importance to the same. The difference between India and China is that many Chinese do see sports as a career option; that's not the case in India. It is just that China is not giving the same level of importance to football as Badminton or Table Tennis, or gymnastics.

Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal in the Olympics because his family was privileged enough to provide all the training from a young age. That's the difference.
I still can't understand the notion that China is not interested in football, especially after Emperor Xi took charge. He repeatedly mentioned his dream to bring China to the World Cup, and plenty of changes have been made to make him happy. Look at the ridiculous investment in the Chinese Super League, look at the ridiculous salaries to bring football stars to China, look at the frequent changes in national team managers from Perrin to Lippi to Cannavaro. Football is clearly important to them, they just fail to improve.

It is absolutely not true that many Chinese see sports as a career option, especially when education has become more and more affordable nowadays. Under the one-child policy, parents become overprotective and they don't want to see their children get injured from playing sports. They just want them to study hard and get into a good university. In fact, China's dominance in badminton and table tennis has also dropped in recent years.
 

Ephrem

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The millions of athletes in India would disagree with that notion. Sure Indian families are more conservative about education and career choices, but when have kids always done what their parents wanted for them? A lot of Cricketers, Wrestlers, Shooters, Boxers, Hockey players, and yes footballers in India come from very humble backgrounds. The main reason India doesn't produce good footballers is because there is a lack of proper coaching and infrastructure to take talented 12-16 year olds and really develop their game in terms of technique and fitness. A lot of people play football pretty regularly with their mates and a lot of them when they were young had they been born in Europe might have made it, but there really is no discernible pathway for a talented 15 year old to progress their career short of giving up full time education and committing fully to a sport that doesn't pay all that great even at the top level in the country.
I never said the people who get into sports are not humble. I said most of them are privileged, at least from a financial perspective.

As I mentioned earlier, to produce world-class footballers (or athletes), so many things have to happen simultaneously. Yes, infrastructure is severely lacking in India; the same goes for mentality also, right? And, compared to Cricket, the remuneration in other sports is really on the low side (well, it depends on the revenue too). Things have improved a lot in the last 10 years; let's hope it will keep improving.
 

Ephrem

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I still can't understand the notion that China is not interested in football, especially after Emperor Xi took charge. He repeatedly mentioned his dream to bring China to the World Cup, and plenty of changes have been made to make him happy. Look at the ridiculous investment in the Chinese Super League, look at the ridiculous salaries to bring football stars to China, look at the frequent changes in national team managers from Perrin to Lippi to Cannavaro. Football is clearly important to them, they just fail to improve.

It is absolutely not true that many Chinese see sports as a career option, especially when education has become more and more affordable nowadays. Under the one-child policy, parents become overprotective and they don't want to see their children get injured from playing sports. They just want them to study hard and get into a good university. In fact, China's dominance in badminton and table tennis has also dropped in recent years.
I didn't know that their dominance in badminton and table tennis has been dropping. Haven't watched the Chinese Super League at all, so can't comment. Maybe they are working their way up slowly and steadily - anyway, it's at least a few decade long process.

And, I was under the impression the sports as a career option is much more welcomed in China than in India - my bad!
 

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I never said the people who get into sports are not humble. I said most of them are privileged, at least from a financial perspective.

As I mentioned earlier, to produce world-class footballers (or athletes), so many things have to happen simultaneously. Yes, infrastructure is severely lacking in India; the same goes for mentality also, right? And, compared to Cricket, the remuneration in other sports is really on the low side (well, it depends on the revenue too). Things have improved a lot in the last 10 years; let's hope it will keep improving.
"I never said the people who get into sports are not humble. I said most of them are privileged, at least from a financial perspective."

You misunderstood me. I didn't say they were humble (which they might be tbf, I don't know their personality) I said they were from humble background. And most of them are absolutely not privileged from a financial perspective. Who told you this? Just because some of them are privileged doesn't mean they all are.

Regarding mentality, I think you overestimating the conservatism in India in that regard. Yes middle class parents want their kids to have a stable career but loads of people (millions in fact) are working as professional or semi professional athletes for very little pay in various sports all over the country including football. It's not the number of people willing to give all their lives in pursuit of football thats lacking. Its the money in the game in regards to local audiences (most football fans follow foreign leagues and not really the Indian league) and the infrastructure to take talented youngsters and give them the technical training.
 

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It’s a bit simplistic to say population has anything to do with sporting success. This applies to any sport. The countries cultural background, attitudes to said sport and popularity of the sport play a huge role in the development of players.

Japan isn’t the biggest but I went to FC Tokyo’s ground to watch a game (they play you’ll never walk alone outside). It was a pretty big stadium but it wasn’t even half full and the quality of the football was championship at best. They produce the occasional good player but the kids there aren’t as interested in that as they are baseball.
 

Wolf1992

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If you were to take the number of people following football in India rather than the percentage, it would be comparable to many so called 'footballing' nations. And it is growing very fast. I live in one of the more football minded parts of India, and here the younger ones are into football as much as, if not more than, they are into cricket. Why India would not produce world class talent has to do with the systemic failure that is a reality in developing nations.
Size population doesn't matter.
A proper football culture is way more important, and you can't buy that with money/infrastructure, you can't force people to like Football just because it's cool and trendy worldwide.

And infrastructure isn't everything tbh, Maradona,Pele,Ronaldinho,Cruyff,Platini,Henry, and other super talented footballers started playing on the streets near slums and mud, not on high quality pitches fund by the government(in an attempt to promote football).
 

hmchan

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I didn't know that their dominance in badminton and table tennis has been dropping. Haven't watched the Chinese Super League at all, so can't comment. Maybe they are working their way up slowly and steadily - anyway, it's at least a few decade long process.

And, I was under the impression the sports as a career option is much more welcomed in China than in India - my bad!
I know nothing about India either, hence I'm reluctant to make any comparison. However, I'm confident to say China is facing the exact same problems as you've stated in #52.
 

hmchan

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It’s a bit simplistic to say population has anything to do with sporting success. This applies to any sport. The countries cultural background, attitudes to said sport and popularity of the sport play a huge role in the development of players.

Japan isn’t the biggest but I went to FC Tokyo’s ground to watch a game (they play you’ll never walk alone outside). It was a pretty big stadium but it wasn’t even half full and the quality of the football was championship at best. They produce the occasional good player but the kids there aren’t as interested in that as they are baseball.
Plenty of Japanese kids receive football training when they are small (many dream to be Captain Tsubasa one day). Watch one or two of their junior school games and you'll be amazed by their technical skills. They just don't have the physical attributes and this is why they struggle at the senior level.
 

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In the next decade I think. Ambani(richest guy in India) has invested a lot of money into grassroots football. Should start seeing results sooner or later. Though he'll probably try and keep the players in India, I think he owns the football league here.
 

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I saw Hany and he was a very classy CB in the mode of a libero. Hossam Hassan was another top player. My intake is that talent wise they can compete but it's the application that's missing.
Amin Dabo was the one I mentioned. I know he played in Egypt and was born there but he played for Saudi Arabia. I had a friend who played with him when he was in Cairo university.
Yep. Talent wise we had a lot of great players and some of the best African teams have seen especially during this 2006-2010 period. Wael Gomaa in defense, Hosni Abd Rabo and Ahmed Hassan in midfield, AbouTreika in attacking midfield..etc. Unfortunately a combination of not having good agents to bring them good offers abroad and that some of them didn't manage to adapt with living outside Egypt and in Europe ended up with many of them staying in Egypt and not being that known abroad.

I think people remember how Amr Zaki started his career with Wigan in England banging on goals and performing great, then his mentality and unprofessionalism fecked up him and ended up with him back in Egypt again. Adapting to living abroad was a big problem.

The best egyptian player - perhaps bar Mo Salah - is without a doubt Mohamed Aboutrika. I'd put him in a bracket with Reus and Cazorla, world class players just shy of the absolute top elite like Ribéry or Iniesta.

Mo Aboutrika - Youtube
Indeed. AbouTreika is my most favorite Egyptian player. Always glad when I see him mentioned.
 

Ephrem

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I know nothing about India either, hence I'm reluctant to make any comparison. However, I'm confident to say China is facing the exact same problems as you've stated in #52.
Honestly, I was under the impression that the Chinese are more welcoming to sports careers - guess I was wrong!!
 

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"I never said the people who get into sports are not humble. I said most of them are privileged, at least from a financial perspective."

You misunderstood me. I didn't say they were humble (which they might be tbf, I don't know their personality) I said they were from humble background. And most of them are absolutely not privileged from a financial perspective. Who told you this? Just because some of them are privileged doesn't mean they all are.

Regarding mentality, I think you overestimating the conservatism in India in that regard. Yes middle class parents want their kids to have a stable career but loads of people (millions in fact) are working as professional or semi professional athletes for very little pay in various sports all over the country including football. It's not the number of people willing to give all their lives in pursuit of football thats lacking. Its the money in the game in regards to local audiences (most football fans follow foreign leagues and not really the Indian league) and the infrastructure to take talented youngsters and give them the technical training.
I was trying to say that most athletes who get into the highest levels in their respective fields came from a much better financial background than most people in the country. I haven't done any research on this, so I could be wrong here. I just feel that most of the cricketers and our best performing athletes like Saina, Somdev, Abinav Bindra, Dipika Pallikal - most of these athletes came from a very well doing financial background. And there are also the inspiring stories of P T Usha, Deepika Kumari, Mary Kom, the Pathan brothers and many others, but I feel the numbers are much less here.

And, you are absolutely right that many people are working as professional or semi-professional athletes for very little pay in various sports all over the country, including football, but honestly, I cannot see many will send their kids to any of these sports unless they are that passionate.

True that we don't have the required infrastructure or the training methods. And, to produce world-class footballers, they need to be professionally trained from a very young age. For that, I think we need to have academies from the big clubs, as I believe the government won't invest much here.
 

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I was trying to say that most athletes who get into the highest levels in their respective fields came from a much better financial background than most people in the country. I haven't done any research on this, so I could be wrong here. I just feel that most of the cricketers and our best performing athletes like Saina, Somdev, Abinav Bindra, Dipika Pallikal - most of these athletes came from a very well doing financial background. And there are also the inspiring stories of P T Usha, Deepika Kumari, Mary Kom, the Pathan brothers and many others, but I feel the numbers are much less here.

And, you are absolutely right that many people are working as professional or semi-professional athletes for very little pay in various sports all over the country, including football, but honestly, I cannot see many will send their kids to any of these sports unless they are that passionate.

True that we don't have the required infrastructure or the training methods. And, to produce world-class footballers, they need to be professionally trained from a very young age. For that, I think we need to have academies from the big clubs, as I believe the government won't invest much here.
They shouldn't really be sending their kids into something they're not passionate about. Especially something like a sport.

As you yourself have noted, there are many athletes who came from nothing and many coming from decent financial backgrounds. That is not a bad thing. The cricketers come from all over the place. You can be from a middle class family like Kohli or from a dirt poor one like many in the Indian team. That is how it should be really.

The problem is not lack of government funds, its the the local game is not very profitable from a TV viewership standpoint. Maybe the ISL will improve over time, but as of now very few people follow it. I'm probably part of the problem too as I feel no real need to watch it. Until that changes you can't heavy investment into infrastructure and training. And a lot of athletic talents are usually good at multiple sports. So if you're athletic why not dedicate your life to Cricket as you have more chance of making a career in India and also make a decent living and have some fame on top of it?
 

Mr. P Mosh

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Why not? I never expected myself that Egypt will have a world class player at one point but here we are. It can happen at any point.
Egypt has a big population, an established and genuine football culture, and they have relatively good resources (they're comparatively level with the bigger South American leagues) at the professional level. Just like Mexico, I'd say they're actually underachievers.

Did they?

I say 1994 apart they're pretty tame football wise. Even jamaica wasnt so bad in the WC.

China and india didnt make the WC not because they're much weaker than US. I'd say because they face stiff competition in Asia region for qualification. There are several tough teams in asia. Iran, russia, australia, south korea, japan, etc.

Also... i dont think the gap in power are as big as they were back then. These days even minnows wont look so out of shape against elite european team.
Yes and no. Does the AFC have more competitive teams? Yes. But, more often than not, Mexico and the US are better than the best teams from Asia, so yes, the US is much stronger than China & India's National Teams.

Costa Rica is more evenly matched with the Japan & South Koreas of the world, but just like Honduras, Panama, Jamaica or Trinidad & Tobago (which I'd put a bit below, but competitive enough against any Asian team), CR is a small country and it's very dependent of a good generation, Japan & South Korea have a more constant level (and honestly, more quantity of good players).

China (India would be better paired with the likes of El Salvador or Guatemala, and I'd still bet on the Concacaf sides) is more on par with Canada, even though the Canucks look more and more like they could rise like the US did in the 2000s.

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While the US as a whole doesn't care about football that much, we have to remember that it has many communities with Latin American, European or Caribbean background who grew up loving the sport as much as their parents. Even many of the best US players who weren't first or second generation inmigrants, grew around those communities, like Landon Donovan.
 
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Foxbatt

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One of the most promising football players in The Philippines has been blown up by the Communists while cycling with his family in his home town in The Philippines. He was just 21. RIP.