National players inspired by World Cup energy [Express Tribune]

National players inspired by World Cup energy [Express Tribune]

KARACHI: As players prepare for the Asian Games in the national football training camp under way in Lahore, Mansoor Khan, a 17-year-old striker, tells The Express Tribune that everyone is  in high spirits due to the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

The teenager from Mardan, who proved his talent during the Pakistan Premier Football League while representing PAF, was called to the national camp by the Pakistan Football Federation.

National coach Mohamed Shamlan is currently holding a 33-member camp to form the national team that will represent the country in the Asian Games to be held in Korea in September.

While Mansoor is keen on impressing the coach, he said that the most talked about topic among the players was the World Cup in Brazil.

“Watching the World Cup is inspirational in every way,” said Mansoor. “My personal favourites to win the mega event will be Portugal because Cristiano Ronaldo plays for them.”

The striker added that for him, Ronaldo’s game was something to learn from.

“I watch Ronaldo all the time. For me Lionel Messi doesn’t really work. In fact, most of us have debates on this topic only. I know I can’t ever reach Ronaldo’s standards of play, but as Pakistanis we can at least try.”

Khan further said that other favourite teams discussed in the camp include Brazil, Spain and Argentina.

Meanwhile, assistant coach Hassan Baloch said that the national camp will be about conditioning the players before the Ramazan break .

“It’s a short camp; just for a couple of weeks,” said Baloch. “We’ve also called in seven goalkeepers this time and we are hoping to get good results while enjoying the World Cup.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2014.