Thu, 29 Jul 2021

Doha [Qatar], June 14 (ANI): Former Afghanistan captain Haroon Amiri is back at the centre of the Afghanistan defence after an injury kept him out for a couple of years. A day prior to India's last league match against Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers in Doha, the defender opened up on the strengths of his side.

India and Afghanistan will square off against each other on Tuesday. In their last game, the Blue Tigers defeated Bangladesh 2-0 after skipper Sunil Chhetri scored a brace.

"I have had offers from the middle east, and also parts of Asia. But I never wanted to come out of my comfort zone. I have already settled down in India, and whichever city I play in, I cherish it. Going to another country will require myself to devote time to learn the language, culture, adapt to the food and a lot of other stuff -- there will always be new challenges," the official website of AIFF quoted Amiri as saying.

"I am aware of the Indian culture, celebrate Indian festivals, love the food, speak the same language, watch the movies, hang around with my Indian friends, and am extremely proud of having been in India. I am welcomed everywhere and have been lucky to have made good buddies over the years," he added.

Talking about Team India, Amiri said: "They are a good team. There has been a lot of change in the squad with so many youngsters coming in. We have noticed that the current coach also has implemented a philosophy of playing differently. India has had some good results in the recent past. We watched their match against Qatar with 10-men where it was hard to break them down. There will be a healthy competition when the two teams meet. The mentality of playing for your club and country is entirely different.""I met them at the hotel gym. One day they were waiting outside for us to finish our session, and another day, we waited outside as the Indian players were finishing their session. We had a nice chat with Sandesh, Sunil, Amrinder Singh -- all of them have hearts of gold," he added. (ANI)

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