FIFA World Cup 2018: Well done, Rishitej! India is proud of you – Bengaluru boy becomes India’s 1st official match ball carrier

By: | Updated: June 18, 2018 10:01 PM

FIFA World Cup 2018: Rishitej might have had the night of his life when he walked as India's 1st 'official ball carrier' in Belgium vs Panama, FIFA World Cup 2018 match at Fisht Stadium, Sochi.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Rishitej was the ball carrier in Belgium vs Panama match (Twitter).

FIFA World Cup 2018: Rishitej might have had the night of his life when he walked as India’s 1st ‘official ball carrier’ in Belgium vs Panama, FIFA World Cup 2018 match at Fisht Stadium, Sochi. With it, he became the first Indian to be the official match ball carrier at the FIFA World Cup. KIA Motors India, the official sponsors of FIFA World Cup tweeted: “Watch Rishitej make India proud as he walks as India’s first Official Match Ball Carrier in today’s Belgium Vs Panama match at 8:30 PM. Don’t miss India’s big moment!”

Apart from the 10-year-old, Tamil Nadu’s Nathania is the lone girl to make it to the top and will be the official match ball carrier in Brazil vs Costa Rica match on June 22.

WATCH| Belgium vs Panama Live Streaming, FIFA World Cup 2018 LIVE Score

In an interview with India Today, Rishitej who hails from Bangalore said: “I am so excited, you cannot measure it even. It is like I am still dreaming. In Russia, I want to live every moment. During the match, I just don’t want to enjoy but analyse how they play.”

Belgium took the pitch without their regular leader Vincent Kompany, and the responsibility was given to Eden Hazard. While Panama created history as they played their maiden FIFA World Cup match. Belgium were unbeaten in their qualifying campaign and after the quarter-final disappointment at Euro 2016, Martinez would aim to inspire his boys to do better.

On paper, a talented Belgium side had too much firepower for Panama and the same was seen against the South American side. Panama built their reputation on a solid defence and a physical style of play under experienced coach Hernan ‘Bolillo’ Gomez.

The central Americans did not impress in warm-up games and it remains to see if their first ever World Cup match will be a Cinderella fairy tale or a rude awakening.

Strikers Blas Perez and Ismael Diaz and defender Felipe Baloy, both 37, played big roles in their qualification campaign and they will be key to Panama’s chances. Aníbal Godoy and Armando Cooper are key midfielders.

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