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2017 FIFA U17 World Cup: Lucio - 'Great opportunity for India to make a mark globally'

16:03 GMT+3 12/04/2017
Lucio FC Goa ISL
The Brazil legend who has spent the last two seasons with ISL side FC Goa expects Indian football to develop from the experience of hosting the cup...

Lucio, who won the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Brazil is looking forward to the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in India where he expects the future stars of world football to be born.

"I think [hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup] is a great opportunity for a country like India to make a mark on the global footballing scene," the former Inter Milan and Bayern Munich defender said while speaking to

He added, "With some of the world’s best young talent set to land on these shores, it’s only bound to help the development of the sport within the country. India could be getting a first-hand look at some of the biggest footballing names in the years to come."

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The 38-year-old has spent the last two years with Indian Super League side FC Goa as their marquee player and he had some words of advice to the hosts and other upcoming nations hoping to grow their football culture.

"It’s important to start developing footballers from a grassroots level and provide them with good facilities to train. Coaching education is important as well. The kids need to have the right guidance in their steps to becoming a professional footballer," opined the two-time FIFA Confederations Cup winner.

Lucio believes that the youngsters who would get the opportunity to pull on their national shirt in the World Cup in October later this year would already have a head-start than their peers.

He claimed, "Experience is all important. To be able to play in a global tournament, against some of the best players in the world of the same age group is a very unique experience"

"The added pressure of having to perform while wearing the national jersey can add great value to a player’s experience and will stand them in good stead for the future."

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Brazil, who have won the U-17 World Cup three times, qualified for the 2017 event by going unbeaten in the recently-concluded South American U-17 Football Championship.

The junior Seleção won seven games while scoring 24 goals and conceding only three in their nine games in Chile. Lucio believes that Brazil could be one of the favourites for the tournament which kicks off on 6th October.

"Brazil have a good team and will always been a tough match for any opposition.  But there will also most certainly be several other teams who are bound to have some very talented squads. As a proud Brazilian though, I’ll certainly be hoping that they have a long run in the tournament," said the man with more than a 100 senior national caps.

He further added, "Football is something that plays a very big part in Brazilian culture. Throughout the years, we’ve had a great numbers of players represent the team who’ve become global icons and they certainly do act as great motivation for the younger players."

This will be the first time India will be hosting a FIFA world event. The tournament will take place from 6th October while the final will be held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on 28th October.

Games will span across five other cities - Navi Mumbai, Guwahati, Goa, New Delhi and Kochi. The draw for the tournament will take place on 7th July in Mumbai.