Sunil Chhetri
File photo of Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri.MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images

Indian football has been on the up in the last few years, with the national team rising up the ranks. Junior teams have also been impressive.

The Indian U-16 team, in particular, have had a great run this year, defeating teams like Iraq, Cameroon, Jordan and Malaysia. They are placed second in their group at the ongoing AFC U-16 Championship and look set to ruffle a few feathers.

Indian senior team captain Sunil Chhetri, who has had a major impact in Indian football over the last decade or so, and is regarded as one of the greats of Indian football, is hopeful and optimistic about Indian football in the future.

The Bengaluru FC star said that the U-16 team can "achieve bigger things in the coming years". "U-16 team in totality, of course, the U-19 teams is also doing well, great result against Argentina, something they should be really proud of. But the U-16 team is amazing, you should watch them play. We watched some videos of them, some game plans and they are amazing," said the Indian captain.

Chettri praised India U-16 coach Bibiano Fernandes and hopes that the players can keep improving, "Bibiano is doing a great job with those kids and I just hope, touchwood, I just hope, they can keep improving from what they are. I am pretty sure they are going to achieve bigger things in the coming years."

The Indian U-16 team play Indonesia in the final game at the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship, and a draw will assure them of a place in the knockout stages of the competition. The last four teams in this competition will qualify for next year's FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Sunil Chhetri and his Bengaluru FC team will seek retribution as they kick off their ISL campaign on Sunday at home, against last year's winners Chennaiyin FC, who defeated them 3-2 in the final.