Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri has his eyes trained on the Asian Games and says the focus should be on making the possible national team for the quadrennial extravaganza, scheduled to be held around the same time as the much-anticipated Indian Super League.
"My focus is on the Asian Games. Right now that's the priority because it's about our national team," Chhetri said here today.
The Indian team will be having a camp from July 1 as part of the three-month long preparation for the Games, which is to be hosted by the South Korean city of Incheon from September 19 to October 4.
"July 1 our national team camp starts and I am looking forward to it. The aim is to make the possible national team for the Asian Games," the ace striker added.
India failed to impress the last time they had competed in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, four years ago, and they would like to make a mark for themselves at a time when football is starting to gain prominence in the country.
Asked about the upcoming FIFA World Cup, Chhetri picked hosts Brazil as the favourites to lift a record sixth title in front of the home crowd.
"I think Brazil is likely to win the World Cup, though my favourite team is (defending champions) Spain. But Brazil have got a very good team, they are playing at home and they know the conditions well, unlike the European teams."
As far as the other likely contenders are concerned, he said, "Argentina and Germany can also win it this time around with Belgium, Japan and Uruguay being the dark-horses," the Bangalore FC skipper added.
Talking about his liking for Spain, he said, "Barcelona are my favourite team and 70 per cent of the players in the Spanish team are from Barcelona."
"But, because it's happening in South America, Brazil and Argentina are favourites. However, you can never bet against teams like Germany and Spain, the current world champions. Uruguay are the dark horses. These five teams are going to be very strong," said Chhetri.
Chhetri based his calculation on the fact that European teams have traditionally not performed well outside the continent.