Kolhapur: With a burning desire to walk on the footsteps of her idol — Neymar, Delhi girl Aveka Singh is hopeful to play at the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup in 2020.
A decade ago in Nigeria, Neymar announced himself to the world at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and went onto become a global icon and the most expensive player in the sport’s history.
Recalling the day when she got to know that India will be hosting the World Cup next year, Aveka: “I woke up in the morning, read the news and thought nothing could be better than this! The World Cup is the biggest tournament in the world and if I am fortunate enough to get a chance to play, it would be incredible.”
Aveka was in action at the Junior Girls National Football Championship, currently underway in Kolhapur.
“The experience of playing here (in the nationals) was pretty good. We’d two tough matches and were a bit unlucky in the first but I’m glad we got out with a win. It was a great exposure overall,” she said.
The 15-year-old started out as a left winger like her hero Neymar. She took her first step in the sport after her school decided to form a football team for girls.
“I like moving the ball around, controlling the tempo of the game, creating chances and assisting my teammates. I don’t mind scoring a few goals either,” she said.
Eight years on since starting out, Aveka has developed into an attacking midfielder and has represented India at U-15 level — winning the SAFF title last year in Bhutan.
Talking about her experience with the national team, she said, “Nothing can mean more than playing for India. It is a truly amazing feeling and hard to describe in words.”
Aveka made her international debut under current women’s senior team coach Maymol Rocky, who is also at the Junior Nationals as a talent scout.
“Aveka is a very intelligent player. She has good quality on the ball and brings other players into the game as well. There is a lot of potential in her and she can develop into a top-quality player,” Maymol said.