American midfielder Mia Bhuta wants to flaunt her ‘Indian heritage’ as she is set to fulfil her childhood dream of playing in a World Cup and that too against the country where her father was born and brought up. (More Football News)
A key player of the USA team which begins their FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 campaign against India in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, Mia says she would be happy if she can inspire the young girls of the host country to take up football.
Mia became the first-ever player of Indian descent to represent the US women’s national team in a World Cup. “It is truly special for me to be here. My father was born here in India. He grew up in Rajkot in Gujarat.
“When he was 16, he came to USA to pursue his passion for tennis and to get better education,” Mia said at the pre-match press conference. “I have been to India a few times before. My grandparents still live here in India.
“The Indian culture has influenced me a lot. I am very proud of my heritage,” said the 16-year-old. Mia is one of the most experienced players of the USA team in this age-group as she has been capped 10 times for the U-17 national team. She has also worn the captain's armband earlier.
“I am super excited, especially because I am going to play against India. To play in the World Cup has been my dream every since I was young. I think India will be a great opponent.
“I know Indian culture. I really hope that my team and the Indian team can inspire the young girls in this country to take up to football. I want them to dream big and think that nothing is beyond reach if they worked hard. I have seen how much these girls have potential to do well.”
A talented player, Mia now lives at Mt Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburg and plays for Internationals