India’s national football team head coach, Igor Stimac, has announced a 41-member squad for the upcoming Hero Intercontinental Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar in June. The national camp is set to commence in the Odisha capital on May 15, with the tournament scheduled to take place from June 9-18.
India, currently ranked 101 in the FIFA rankings, will be facing Lebanon (ranked 99), Vanuatu (ranked 164), and Mongolia (ranked 183) in the Intercontinental Cup. The tournament serves as a vital preparation for the Blue Tigers ahead of their World Cup qualifiers later this year.
The list of 41 players includes several notable names, such as Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sandesh Jhingan, and Anirudh Thapa. It also features several young players, including Akash Mishra, Suresh Singh Wangjam, and Jeakson Singh.
Speaking about the squad selection, Stimac emphasized the importance of the tournament in providing valuable game time to the players ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.
“This is a very important tournament for us, and we are looking forward to playing against some strong opposition,” Stimac said. “We have included some young players in the squad as well, as we believe in giving them a chance to prove themselves at the international level.”
Stimac also highlighted the need for the players to work together and build a strong team dynamic ahead of the tournament.
“We need to work as a team and develop a strong bond on and off the field,” Stimac added. “We have some talented players in the squad, and we need to make sure that we play to our potential and give our best in every game.”
The Intercontinental Cup, which was last held in 2019, will feature four teams this year instead of the usual eight due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament serves as a crucial platform for India to test their mettle against strong opposition and gain valuable experience ahead of their World Cup qualifiers.
With the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Sandesh Jhingan, and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the squad, India will be hoping to put on a strong showing in front of their home fans and build some momentum ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifiers.
The 41-member squad for the Intercontinental Cup is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gahlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Abdul Sahal.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita, Hitesh Sharma, Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Farukh Choudhary.