"The most important thing in football is to never lose possession of the ball. If you have the ball, you can never lose," said Rafael Martin, a UEFA 'B' licensed coach currently with the Boca Juniors youth academy in Madrid, here on Tuesday.Martin is currently in the country to organise summer camps in a few cities. Football in India has always played second fiddle to cricket. Though there is a lot of interest in European football, the country still remains a poor 145th in the world rankings. Indian footballers don't get recognition as the cricketers do."All children want to be famous.
They want to be stars. In this country, you can only get that if you're a cricketer or a movie star," Martin said.But that doesn't mean that Indians don't have quality though. "There's not much difference in quality of the player. it's just that the European countries spend a lot more on infrastructure and kids start playing at the tender age of four," he said.So, what really separates Spanish football from the rest? "We treat kids as professionals. Even at 5-6, they are taught tactical movements. Of course, you need to have great skills. But if you don't have good eyes, then your skills are of no use.
Our children are taught how to make space and how to take advantage of situations. We don't produce players like Xavi or Iniesta for nothing," Martin said.Martin hoped to spot a kid in India with such qualities and take him to the Boca Juniors academy. "It's in the preliminary stages but if I find that a kid is exceptional, there's no reason why we won't sign him up with our youth academy."As a coach, Martin's message to all children who are keen on football is: "Just enjoy the game. Kick the ball and have fun with it. Do your best when you have the ball and build the energy to run around."