National Football Team vice-captain Syed Rahim Nabi stays a versatile player. As India get ready to make a mark at the AFC Challenge Cup, Nabi spoke at length to www.the-aiff.com about his role, the preparation and other relevant issues.
How successful was the Preparatory Camp in Dubai?
The Preparatory Camp played a very important part in our preparation. We are a young team and there are quite a few first timers in the squad. The Camp gave them opportunity to settle down with the team and understand each other.
Youngsters like Gurjinder Kumar and Adil Khan would be there with you for the first time. How do you make them comfortable? It’s not that I stay unaware of them and vice-versa. We have played against each other at the Club-level many times. Gelling won’t be a problem. In fact, they are already an integral part of the squad.
What’s the role of International Friendlies prior to such a Championship? International Friendly definitely gives you the confidence required to play at the highest level. They play a major role. The exposure certainly helps.
How confident are you as far as India’s preparation is concerned? Football is not an individual game – it’s a team game. One can’t win matches depending on one individual. And as far as I am concerned, I will try my level best and give 100 percent. We have a fairly good chance to win the title.
How would you rate Tajikistan – India’s first opponent? I think we have a psychological advantage against them as we defeated them in final in Delhi. But nothing can be taken for granted. We need to be cautious as we have been drawn in a very tough group.
What’s your message for the fans back home on Holi? On behalf of the team, I wish all a Happy Holi. We need their support and prayers so that we can give our best for the country. This is one of the most important tournaments for us.
by Upender Singh, AIFF Media Team