Playing in Brazil was big learning curve for Indian women's team, says Dalima Chhibber

Image Source: ANI

New Delhi [India], January 9 (ANI): Indian women’s football team player Dalima Chhibber believes that the experience earned by playing, especially in places like Sweden and Brazil has been immense.

The Indian women’s team has played in six different countries in 2021, in the lead up to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022.

“A lot has changed, especially the number of exposure matches that we have been playing in Brazil, Sweden, Turkey and so on. Brazil was a big learning curve for us, to see the hub of football culture and to understand what football really means to everyone there,” AIFF quoted Dalima as saying.

With less than 2 weeks left for the AFC Asian Cup to kick-off, the players in the Blue Tigresses’ camp are as excited as ever, to get the ball rolling on January 20, when they face off against IR Iran.

“We’ve been preparing for a while now, and we have all been together for six months with a number of exposure matches. We’ve had some good wins, and we have had a few losses as well,” Dalima said on AIFF TV.

“But the most important thing is that we have learnt a lot. We are all excited, and can’t wait to get going,” she added.

Team India’s head coach Thomas Dennerby had taken over the senior team in August, and brings in the experience of coaching in Sweden, and Nigeria as well.

“I think the coach has given us a lot of confidence. He gives us a pep talk before every game, and he tells us how we are all capable, and how much he and the staff believe in us all. For me, personally, that gives a lot of confidence to fight it out,” she informed.

“He has brought in mental toughness in the squad — whether it’s chanting, whether it’s running, whether it’s a conditioning, whether it’s speed, whether it’s the technical aspect, or it’s a tactical aspect.

“We’ve been able to focus on every part of the game in detail. We’ve been able to highlight that we’ve been able to improve. We’ve been able to come together as a team, and improve our games building up to the Asian Cup,” Dalima added.

The 24-year-old said the dream is to play in the FIFA World Cup and playing in Brazil was the stepping stone towards the goal.

“The dream for us is to reach the FIFA World Cup. So when we went to Brazil to play against Brazil, it was a dream come true. But like going to Brazil playing against those teams was the start of a dream because we know where we have to be,” said Dalima.

“And that was just like a stepping stone. We realised what world football is like, and what kind of football the teams that are at the top level who play in the World Cup and Olympics play. So for us it was a very big learning curve,” she added. (ANI)

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