Prepared for U-17 World Cup challenge: India keeper Dheeraj
New Delhi: India goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh on Tuesday said it's a challenge to be playing with the top teams in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, adding he is ready for it.
"It is a challenge that I am prepared for," Dheeraj told www.the-aiff.com.
India take on the United States in a Group A tie on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here. India also have Ghana and Colombia in their group.
"We respect our opponents but as a goalkeeper it is my job to be the hardest barrier they face and I will try to be the hardest barrier that they will ever face in scoring a goal," he said.
On his goalkeeping, Dheeraj said: "I like to keep a balance between aggressive goalkeeping where I dominate the box and composed goalkeeping. You have to pick your moments and choose what type of goalkeeping will suit the moment.
"Sometimes the aggressive goalkeeping can lead to difficulties and even conceding a goal where composed goalkeeping could have worked and vice versa. For a goalkeeper, both ways of goalkeeping are important."
Dheeraj said keepers have the pressure of performing in every single game and it is imperative they stay in the moment all the time.
"Staying in the moment is the job of a goalkeeper and a slight lack of focus or concentration can easily lead to a goal," he said.
"Goalkeepers are the last barriers and it makes the job all the more tough when there is a pressure of performing in every single game associated with it."
India are the 18th Asian team to take part in the U-17 World Cup.