Kolkata: India football team skipper Sunil Chhetri Tuesday has picked up Spain, Germany, France and Brazil as his top four teams in the upcoming World Cup which starts Thursday.
“If you’re asking me four good teams then I would say Germany, Spain, Brazil and France look really strong,” Chhetri said after receiving the Indian Player of Year award at the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) Awards ceremony here at the Calcutta Sports Journalist’s Club.
“I hope some other team proves me wrong. England are darkhorses, while Belgium have a very good side.”
However, the 33-year-old rated Lionel Messi as the greatest player to have ever played the sport and hoped that he lived up to his fans’ expectation by lifting the World Cup which is probably going to be his last.
“I will be very happy if he scores. I am his fan. I don’t take comparisons seriously. I don’t think anyone should. These are baseless. I hope Messi scores and Argentina do well,” Chhetri added.
An ardent Spain supporter, Chhetri said the spotlight would be on veteran Andres Iniesta who has hinted about his retirement. “The team which I really like to watch is Spain. I like the way they play football,” Chhetri said.
“I don’t want to take names. It’s time to watch the best players play against each other. I think that is the whole thing of World Cup. It comes in four years. As neutrals, just enjoy it as there are so many players to watch out for.”
Chhetri who just equaled Messi in the number of international goals (64) rubbished his comparison with the Barcelona superstar.
“When I hear about the comparisons, I get happy for five seconds and then forget it. Messi and Ronaldo are two of the best players ever to play football,” Chhetri, who is the second Indian player after Bhaichung Bhutia said.