'I personally requested for this meeting as I saw some spark in all of you. Based on your performance people have started knowing you so there is a huge responsibility on your shoulders.'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the India Under-17 football team in New Delhi on Friday as he encouraged the youngsters to stick together and brings more laurels for the country in the years to come.
The India U-17 team, which took part in the recently-concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in India's sports history, were invited by the Prime Minister after they came back from Saudi Arabia following the AFC Under-19 Championship Qualifiers.
"I personally requested for this meeting as I saw some spark in all of you. Based on your performance people have started knowing you so there is a huge responsibility on your shoulders," Modi said after the meeting at the Prime Minister's Office.
He further added that the boys must stay together as a team and in a few years time should establish themselves as professional players.
"Consider this U17WC as just a preparation for the future. I hope you stick together as a team and in 5-7 years time represent the country with great laurels", he stated.
The sports-enthusiast personnel, who has mentioned the significance of sports umpteenth times in 'Mann ki Baat', expressed that "there is no life without sports".
"There is no life without sports. Football is a very intense game. Hope you can inspire people to inculcate sports as part of their daily lives", PM Modi added.
Prime Minister Modi, who was present at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi during India's FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 opener against US last month, said that Jeakson's goal against Colombia in their second match was the "biggest reason for all of us to celebrate".
"When Jeakson scored the goal it gave the biggest reason for all of us to celebrate."
The India U-17 team, along with the India U-19 boys are now slated to ply their trade in the upcoming Hero I-League 2017-18.