Some over 4000 kms away, a ‘disappointed’ Amarjit Singh stays optimistic about India’s chances against current Asian Champions Qatar, mentioning, “anything can happen.”
Nursing an elbow injury, ‘livewire’ Amarjit Singh, was ruled out of India’s clashes against Oman, and Qatar, and now it’s a race against time for him to get ready for India’s October 15 match against Bangladesh.
Nevertheless, back home in Phoubal in Manipur, his spirit defines his confidence which has made him a favourite in the Senior Indian National team set-up, drawing praise from all, including a certain Sunil Chhetri, and Head Coach Igor Stimac.
“In football, it’s all about those 90 minutes. Nothing else matters,” Amarjit, currently under rehab for 6-8 weeks, said. “A year back, did anyone ever think that Qatar would be Asian Champions? But they have overcome powerhouses like Japan, Australia, Iran, and Korea Republic. That was quite unthinkable,” he went on reflecting his thoughts on India’s clash against Qatar on Tuesday (September 10).
“So there’s no reason to believe we can’t. I understand Qatar are labelled as ‘Spain of Asia,’ and that too for a reason. They are a very good team. But on the field, no history matters. It’s about fighting face to face, for the ball, and with the ball,” he quipped.
“We need to be mentally strong, and not get overawed playing them at their home. I repeat, it isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either,” his ‘infectious’ attitude, standing out.
It’s this attitude of Amarjit that has been the hallmark of the India U-17 World Cup squad, the Indian Arrows, and the India U-19 National Team at present. This is the new India, never willing to die prior to taking the field.
Even Sunil Chhetri is aware of it. “Amarjit is a livewire,” he maintained. “He is somebody who is so honest. If you tell him that you need to punch the wall for three hours, three hours later, when you come back you will still see him punching it,” Chhetri smiled. “He has been a standout performer in the last 3-4 games for us. I really hope he recovers soon.”
However tough a central defender, Igor Stimac may have been during his playing days, there’s a softer part of him — all passionate, and full of emotions.
“I always believe in young players because they bring great motivation into the team – they bring freshness, they bring fight into the team – that’s what I am proud of,” Stimac’s eyes got moist.
“Amarjit absolutely deserved to be here with us. All I can say that is that we are waiting for you. You are part of this team. Get well soon and rejoin us. He is someone with great technical capability, can pass it around, and bring in the fight,” Stimac’s eyes still stayed moist.
Further hailing Amarjit’s ‘tunnel-vision,’ Chhetri added: “The day he was operated he called up and asked for what food he should have. He said, “my recovery starts now. I need to have the same food the team is having.”
Amarjit smiled. “I have to. It hurts to be out. It’s Qatar tomorrow. There’s no reason why we can’t. It’s about those 90 minutes,” he reiterated.
The kick-off is scheduled at IST 10pm tomorrow (September 10, 2019).