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India U-17s gear up for preparatory game against Real Madrid U-17

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The India U-17 men’s team is set to face Real Madrid U-17s, at the Ciudad Deportiva del Real Madrid in Madrid on Wednesday in their fourth preparatory game in Spain.

The India U-17s are currently preparing for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup, which is set to be held in Thailand in June 2023, where they have been placed in Group D alongside Japan, Vietnam and Uzbekistan.

Under the stewardship of head coach Bibiano Fernandes, the Blue Cubs have played three preparatory matches against Atletico de Madrid U-17 (4-1), CD Leganes U-18 (0-2), and Atletico Madrileno (2-1).

Fernandes feels that it would be a very good opportunity for Indian youngsters to play against skilful opponents. “It is a massive opportunity for these boys to square up against well trained players from a top club like Real Madrid. Every one of them is just raring to go for the match, and we will try to put our best foot forward,” he said.

“I think these matches will really put the boys in good stead as they are out here in Spain, playing some very competitive teams, which also helps them get up to the required level ahead of the AFC U-17 Asian Cup,” Fernandes added.

The India U-17 boys have been benefiting from the federation’s Vision for junior national teams, by virtue of which, the players have also received training from the youth team coaches at Atletico de Madrid last week.

“We’ve had some very fruitful sessions with the coaches at Atletico, and it was a good experience for the boys. They are progressing at a swift pace,” said Fernandes.