Former India U-16 team captain Vikram Partap Singh believes that the current batch under head coach Bibiano Fernandes is better than his own batch that was 90 minutes away from direct qualification for the FIFA U-17 World Cup two years ago.
"I have seen the current U-16 team and I believe that they are better than us and if they keep performing the way they have been, then they can qualify for the (U-17) World Cup," Vikram said in a chat with AIFF TV.
"There is so much work being done on the youth level. I feel that our U-16 teams will keep qualifying for the AFC Championships every time, and hopefully, we could play a World Cup very soon. The current batch has such good control over the ball, it is just amazing to watch them," Vikram, who had led the India side to the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championships 2018 in Malaysia, added.
Reflecting on his formative years in football, Vikram said the fact that India was hosting the U-17 World Cup in 2017 motivated him to work hard to make his way up the ranks.
"It was always a dream to represent India in a World Cup. So when I heard that India will be hosting the U-17 World Cup, I was really excited," the youngster said.
"I used to train with Amarjit (India's captain at the FIFA U-17 World Cup) in Chandigarh and I got really motivated when I saw that he was selected for the World Cup squad," he added.
Vikram went on to be selected for the India U-16s later on and led the team that progressed past the likes of Indonesia, Iran and Vietnam from the group stage to the quarterfinals, where they faced Korea Republic.