Kerala Blasters FC reserve captain Ayush Adhikari believes that the day an Indian plays in the PL is not far away. The midfielder believes that tournaments such as the Next Gen Cup will help develop Indian youngsters. Kerala Blasters FC played against Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace academy teams while Bengaluru faced Leicester City and Nottingham Forest.

“When you pick up football as a youngster in India, you look up to the European teams like the ones we played. There is a gap that I think we are narrowing down and we can cope with it. To take an example, just two days after our first match, we gave Crystal Palace a tough fight and they struggled to get a goal out of us in the first half,” Ayush Adhikari believes that an Indian will play in the PL soon. “I think if we keep going like this, keep on having these programs and initiatives, we will develop, and someday you will see an Indian player playing in the Premier League. It is a great initiative to give players this kind of exposure because everyone sees these clubs on television and every player dreams to be here. Finally, when a chance comes, the players are grateful to play against these top teams.”

“We were here to learn and experience what European football quality is all about. The players are fast and skilled, tactically, they possess good knowledge of the game and we experienced what playing in Europe is like,” he added. “It is a delightful feeling to be part of the trip. The infrastructure in the clubs we visited is top quality, with more than 20 pitches to just train. Those things are huge, this is football at the big level. The atmosphere here is insane. Any player would love to be here.”

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