Hope India qualifies for 2022 FIFA World Cup: Tendulkar

Navi Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar Tuesday said he hoped the Indian football team would qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar.

Tendulkar gave an inspirational speech at the presentation ceremony of the final of the Coca-Cola Cup, a national under-15 sub-junior football tournament, which Meghalaya won 1-0 against Odisha at the Father Agnel School ground here.

"I know in 2022 there is something really big happening for Indian football. I hope India qualifies for that World Cup. That is something that should be your target and your senior players will guide you. Just follow their steps and chase your dreams," Tendulkar told the young footballers during the presentation.

The Mumbaikar said the key to being successful in sports was to follow one's dream and be passionate about it.

"A simple advice I can give you is be passionate about the sport. Fall madly in love with the sport and that will allow you to work harder. Have dreams and chase them. Dreams will come true," said the batting legend.

Tendulkar, who Sunday retired from the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the Mumbai Indians victory, thanked the fans for supporting him throughout his career.

"I was madly in love with cricket. I am still madly in love with cricket. Also the support and love I have received from all the people has been my strength. It has allowed me to move out and give my best. The right platform was set for me to go out and perform. A big thank you to all the people who have supported me for the last 23 years," he said.

Tendulkar praised the organisers of the tournament and said more grassroot initiatives such as this were the need of the hour for Indian sports.

"I keenly look forward to many of the youngsters seizing this opportunity and showcasing their talent and skills. Emerging sports persons in the country require similar grassroot initiatives and competitive platforms to unlock and realise their true potential," he added.

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