Why Indian youth need a system over Messi or Ronaldo

German football legend Oliver Kahn emphasised the need for a structured football system to propel Indian football forward, stating that beyond idolising players like Messi or Ronaldo, youth development is crucial.

Speaking at an event, Kahn stressed the importance of structured youth development, starting at a young age. He encouraged the cultivation of homegrown talent, insisting that India should aim to develop its own players and role models.

Kahn acknowledged the significance of having role models like Messi and Ronaldo but emphasised the importance of nurturing Indian talent.

He highlighted the need for India to develop its coaching talent and establish a unique football philosophy. While external assistance can be beneficial, he insisted that the core development must come from within the country.

Reflecting on his own football journey, Kahn recalled his final professional game in India in 2008 for Bayern Munich against Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

He expressed the mixed emotions of that moment, recognising the special connection with Indian fans. Kahn urged the development of a distinct Indian style and philosophy, stressing that the country’s strength should come from within.

Recalling his early struggles, Kahn shared his journey of overcoming doubts about his goalkeeping abilities.

He stressed the importance of willpower, a never-give-up spirit, and a strong work ethic. Kahn reminisced about receiving the call from Uli Hoeness inviting him to join Bayern Munich as their No 1 goalkeeper, a dream opportunity that required dedication and hard work to achieve.


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