Indian Football

Klaus Augenthaler expects more Indian talents like Shubho Paul to play abroad

Mudeet Arora
Klaus Augenthaler has expressed desire to see more youngsters from India on the global football stage.
Klaus Augenthaler has expressed desire to see more youngsters from India on the global football stage. / Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

With the improvement in coaching in the country, Germany World Cup winner Klaus Augenthaler expects to see more Indian talent play abroad after Under-16 international Shubho Paul was selected for the FC Bayern World Squad.

Shubho was selected after FC Bayern World Squad's coaches analysed videos of about 2,000 Under-19 players from around the world before narrowing them down to just 15 for their final squad.

The programme will see those youngsters selected trained digitally by Bayern's coaches for a number of weeks before facing the Bundesliga champions' Under-19 side in a friendly in Munich, while the whole process will be filmed for a six-part documentary series to be released on YouTube in mid-August.

Augenthaler, who is the head coach of the FC Bayern World Squad, spoke about Shubho and talent from India to I-League, saying: "I definitely hope (that more kids come out of India).

"India is a big country when compared to Germany, and football is not the number one sport there. But I hope that with more qualified coaches, more talents can come through from India in the future."

1990 World Cup winner Augenthaler, who spent 15 years with the Bavarian giants during his playing days, then spoke specifically about Shubho, believing that he shared a similar playing style with the 17-year-old.

He said: "Shubho and I have come from similar situations – we both come from small towns, and when I was 16, I had the dream of becoming a professional.

"We definitely saw the quality that he has. But it’s very important that he does not put himself under too much pressure. This is a good age to learn, and he should do so with both his feet on the ground."

Shubho too was questioned about his feelings after being selected. He said: "I really don’t have any words to describe how I felt after I was told that I had been selected for this programme.

"I had only joined Sudeva [when he was 12-years-old] with the hope that one day, I would play in the Hero I-League," he added.

"I have already had a number of video sessions with the coaches at FC Bayern, and we have discussed the importance of working on my strength, and training properly to prevent injuries and practicing enough to iron out the weak spots. They have also been teaching me a bit of German, so that it could help me later,” Shubho added.