New Delhi: After playing his last match in national colours, former football captain Baichung Bhutia on Tuesday hoped that the young Indian players would be inspired by the international stars who played in his farewell exhibition match on Tuesday. (Agencies)
German giants Bayern Munich thrashed India, led by Baichung one last time, 4-0 with all the goals coming in the first half.
Bhutia praised his team-mates for the fighting spirit they showed against a far superior opponent.
"In the first half, I think the boys were carried away by the big names in the Bayern team but they played excellent in the second half. It`s not the right time to play against Bayern as they are in the best of form.”
"We know the difference in standard. But I thought our players showed the fighting spirit and the enthusiasm and did not let any goal in the second half," Baichung said.
The Sikkimese Sniper, who retired last year from international football after playing for 16 years in more than 100 matches for the country, praised his all teammates and coaches for the contribution they made in his career.
He also acknowledged the effort put in by the AIFF and Bayern Munich for arranging his farewell match.
"I thanked my former and current team-mates and the coaches I have played under. They have contributed to my game in the 16 years of my career. I also thank Audi, the AIFF and the Bayern for arranging my farewell match. I am honoured to have played my farewell match against Bayern and I thoroughly enjoyed playing in today`s match," he said.
Agreeing with Baichung, India coach Savio Medeira also said that today's match would give the boys confidence for the AFC Challenge Cup to be played in Nepal in March.
"The boys were a bit carried away by the big names in the Bayern side and they could not play upto the level they could have played. In the second half, the boys were a lot better," he said.
"The players will get confidence from today's match and do well in the AFC Challenge Cup," he added.
Medeira praised Baichung for the commitment he showed on the field throughout his international career and said that the youngsters in the national team should emulate him.
"For 16 years he has the same commitment for the country and we can see that today also. This kind of commitment has been lacking in the Indian players. If they have Baichung's commitment there would be many Baichung in the country."
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes felt his side could have scored more goals in the match and India played a "clever" game in the second half.
"We have a good game after a week-long training stint in Qatar. Their (Indians') level is not upto our standard but its good preparation for the second phase of Bundesliga.”
"We could have scored more goals but India played a clever game. They were able to close gaps and did not concede goals. I think my players were a bit tired in the second half after the training stint in Qatar," he said.
Asked about any particular player who caught his attention, Heynckes said, "We have a different level at Bundesliga and it's difficult to judge any Indian player."
Winger Arjen Robben, however, felt that Indian players can improve if they have good facilities.
"In general, the Indians are strong physically and very good. They have strength and speed. If they have good facilities they can improve tactically and technically. It must be good experience for the Indian players to play against us. They made a good impression," he said.
He also said that the pitch at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was good. "I think a lot of work was put on preparing on the pitch. It was a really good one. It was good for playing and it was a good workout for us."
New Delhi: After playing his last match in national colours, former football captain Baichung Bhutia on Tuesday hoped that the young Indian players would be inspired by the international stars who played in his farewell exhibition match on Tuesday.