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Man Utd star Ferdinand: India can produce top players

At the Nike Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC), Ferdinand spoke with Indian journalists about the prospects of improving their football in the future.

"At 5'6'', (Lionel) Messi has been scoring lot of goals and some of the best talents around are well below six feet. (Diego) Maradona was no six-footer either. So that should not be a worry. I think proper technique and knowledge of the game are the two most important factors.

"Physique is definitely important but soccer is a game based on a player's knowledge and skill and if coached well, shorter players can make it big as well," said the player, standing a towering 6'2".

Ferdinand, once world's most expensive defender, also harped on the twin points of coaching and exposure.

"As youngsters, they need to play at big stage as much as possible. That's why MUPC is important. They have to play more and more at this level. In my days, we did not have too many well-organised tournaments but now you have events like MUPC. It's a great experience."

"To improve, you also have to have good coaches, because good coaches make great players. You need proper coaching infrastructure to succeed," he explained.

"I don't think India or Asia is lacking in anything else. It's just at the coaching level," he added.

Countries should also ensure that talents are not lost in transition, Ferdinand asserted.

Asked what would be his advice to the youngsters, Ferdinand said, "Listen to your coach. He will always say things which would benefit you."

Ferdinand also revealed the Indophile persona of his character and said he was keen to visit the country.

"I plan to visit India some day. I just love the food," he said.

Asked what was his favourite dish, Ferdinand said, "tandoori grill."

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Tribal Football Staff

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