All India Football Federation's Director of National Teams and former Indian national football team captain Abhishek Yadav, who played a starring role for India in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup believes that the current squad have the perfect platform to become one of the top eight footballing nations in Asia very soon.
In his interview with AIFF's official website, Yadav was asked about his opinion on what will happen to the footballing scene in India after the Asian Cup in January.
He replied, "We are aiming for top-8 status in Asia for Men’s and top-3 status in Asia for women’s National teams by 2026. All our programmes are designed to achieve this end, and the Asian Cup will massively help in our quest."
Yadav was then asked about the difference between the Asian Cup and other continental tournaments. The former striker reverted by stating, "It is a very significant platform for players to gain recognition as a lot of people connected to continental or global football watch the event closely for talents. For Indian football in general, it is an important platform for us to increase and strengthen our fan base. I feel more people out there need to realise that this is our equivalent of the Euros or the Copa America. This is a big deal."
Finally revealing his opinion on whether India will clear their group at the Asian Cup, the 38-year-old concluded, "I am confident about the squad. It will boost the football ecosystem in the country. The team needs to be well prepared and give the best ever performance that India has seen."