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Spanish sides were strong, competitive: Indian footballers

sports Updated: Aug 08, 2009 19:38 IST
Spanish sides were strong

The Spanish sides against whom the Indian footballers played friendly games in their month-long training tour of Barcelona were tough and competitive even though they were from the third division, the national players said.

The Indians played four practice games, winning two and drawing as many, and were happy to end their training trip unbeaten.

"All our four opponents were very good sides. The players were physically strong and technically sound. We are happy that we won two matches against strong sides and drew two," midfielder Climax Lawrence told PTI after returning home.

"Coach (Bob Houghton) experimented on the first two games, despite that we won the second game (against Esportiu Europa) against a good side," he added.

Out of the four Spanish sides, FC Santboia, whom India defeated 1-0 in their final practice game, was the strongest side having featured in the play-offs for qualification to the second division after finishing fourth in the regional third division league.

Central defender Gouramangi Singh agreed with Climax, saying, "The Spanish sides we played against were very competitive. We didn't feel we were playing against third division sides. Even lower division sides are very good there. Playing against them was perfect to prepare for the Nehru Cup."