Defender Dalima Chhibber warns teammates to be ready for fast-paced football

Indian women’s team defender Dalima Chhibber has warned her teammates to be prepared for fast-paced football against their South American opponents, including Brazil, during the four-nation tournament starting here on Friday.

The Delhi player has firsthand knowledge of the style of football in the US as she played for the Manitoba Bisons for Canada from 2019 to the recent past.

“When I played in Canada, I had the experience of sharing the field with players from South America. I can tell you that the players from this part of the world are extremely skilled, and the teams play at a very fast pace,” said Chhibber.

“They also have a lot of experienced players, but we will go ahead to do our best. We are preparing to do something big – if we do well in the Asian Cup, we can qualify for the World Cup as well. So the focus remains on that.”

India will take on former World Cup runners-up Brazil, ahead of Chile (November 29) and Venezuela (December 2) on Friday. Marta, considered the world’s greatest female footballer, has been included in the Brazilian team.

Midfielder Indumati Kathiresan said these matches against strong opposition could serve as a launchpad for next year’s AFC Asian Cup in India.

“Of course, Brazil is a very big side. They have a lot of experience playing against tough opposition and I am sure they will play at a high level,” Indumati said in a release issued by the All India Football Federation.

“It would be nice to take this experience to the Asian Cup, and we will use this experience to move forward together.”

The Indian women’s team has already played in six different countries this year – Turkey, Serbia, Uzbekistan, UAE, Bahrain and Sweden.

With Brazil being the seventh country to tour the team, goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan spoke about the importance of playing such matches to prepare for the big tournament.

“I think these international matches are very helpful for the team. Not only to be able to play with each other but also to be able to understand each other,” said Aditi.

“We have gained a lot of experience in the past, and we are seeing the same in people coming to Brazil.”

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