The movie, Pele birth of a legend has been a delight to all football lovers. It talks about how Pele transformed from being just a barefoot street footballer to the one who became the nation’s World Cup hero, winning it three times in a row.
Barefoot football is not something which is new to Indian. Our streets are filled with soccer lovers whose footwear become the goal posts and they try to score between the two posts.
Playing barefoot develops one skill of ball control. It gives you a real feel of the ball on your foot. You change your directions very quickly and alter the pace much better than with cleats on. 100 % of the touch goes to the brain and nothing is lost on the shoe, so your feel on the ball is much better too. Also finally the lower part of your feet muscles get automatically strengthened.
Having said all that, its time know that football has evolved and so has the practice of wearing soccer shoes while playing. Even the barefoot street player, Pele, had to wear shoes to play professional. Indian soccer, as it is already has needs to continue to move away from just the streets. There are so many bare footers who can’t do a thing with the ball when they have shoes on.
So how can the quality of football improve in this great talented nation of 1.2 billion people? A possible answer is to move from streets to soccer fields, wear shoes rather than play barefoot every time. The influence of football has grown in India in the recent past. It won’t be too long that the way hockey was overtaken by cricket, football will overtake cricket. It is not very far for football to become our national sport. It is not very far that India will play FIFA World Cup. It is not very distant when huge money will be spent by the big clubs on Indian players and great clubs will be birthed here.
All it takes is a dreamer. Someone who will dare to walk away the comfortable streets in to the football fields, who will wear the shoes and work hard enough to see this generation take the world stage in representing India. Come on Indian Peles it is time to take the big stage.
Vijay David, Assistant Coach, BCFC