Bangladesh national football team were once a much better side compared to their Nepalese counterparts and their six consecutive wins against Nepal from 1995 to 2005 spoke volume of Bangladesh's supremacy on the field. But the scenario has changed a lot since a single goal-defeat to Nepal in 2011.
And while previously it was a known fact that Bangladesh are a superior side, the men in red and green now have to rather claim they are a better side than Nepal, who are ahead of Bangladesh in both FIFA ranking and in terms of performance.
In their previous two meetings in SAFF Championship in 2013 and 2018, Bangladesh suffered 2-0 defeats to Nepal, who are now 17 places ahead of 187th-ranked Bangladesh. After a seven-month gap due to coronavirus pandemic, the booters have started preparation ahead of the two international friendlies against Nepal on November 13 and 17 in Dhaka. And midfielder Sohel Rana yesterday claimed that Bangladesh are a better side than Nepal and that the last few defeats were only because of a few silly mistakes.
"If you compare Bangladesh and Nepal, we are the better side. We lost to them due to silly mistakes during the games. We want to win both friendlies against Nepal, rectifying those mistakes," said Sohel after training yesterday.
However, the Abahani midfielder later admitted that Nepal might be better as a team but Bangladesh boast more individual talents.
"As a team, Nepal are a good side but we, as individuals, are ahead of them. If you look back at the AFC Cup campaign, we produced good results. In that perspective, we are good at the club level competition. Besides, we can also realise that we are better than them when we play against them."
National striker Nabib Newaj Jibon had earlier claimed that the Bangladeshi players were technically better than the Maldivian footballers ahead of an AFC Cup play-off match for Abahani earlier this year. That match against Maziya SRC, however, ended in a draw.
Meanwhile, all 12 Bashundhara Kings players including Finland-born Tareq Kazi joined the camp last night. Abahani goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel was on his way to Dhaka from Chattogram while Tutul Hossain Badsha did not turn on account of tending to his sick wife.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, Tareq, coach Jamie Day and the other foreign coaching staff are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow.