The statement is a tribute to how Stephen Constantine's India have made Asia sit up and take notice of their 4-1 win over Thailand.
India captain Sunil Chhetri overtook Lionel Messi in worldwide goals as the Blue Tigers stunned Thailand 4-1 in their opening game to earn comparisons with Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli for his heroics back home. Yes, we know that in football we can hear a lot of things said outside of the pitch, like in Italy where they have three newspapers dedicated to football.
Over reliance on the 34-year-old striker would not have seen them maul Thailand the way the did.
Minutes after coming off the bench against Thailand, Jeje Lalpekhlua found the back of the net, and so did young Anirudh Thapa.
India pushed for the equaliser in the second half, Udanta Singh slamming a shot against the bar 10 minutes after the restart.
Chhetri and the FC Pune City winger had their eyes on goal whenever they were on the ball and the direct running of the latter and the technique and finishing prowess of the former left the opposition's defence helpless. Nobody thought we were going to win a game. More of the could be expected against a superior opponent in UAE.
For the first time ever, twenty-four nations will compete in the pan-Asian competition instead of the usual sixteen.
Zaccheroni already doesn't have his star player Omar Abdulrahman available for the tournament, and there are also injury doubts about right-back Bandar Mohamed Al Ahbabi, attacking midfielder Saif Rashid Alshemeili, and Al Ahli striker Ahmed Khalil Aljunaibi.
Mabkhout is seven goals shy of becoming UAE's all-time top scorer.
Get highlights and analysis of the India vs UAE AFC Asian Cup 2019 match below.
"After we have qualified, we can get a little bit excited, but our primary job is still to qualify out of the group stages".
The AFC Asian Cup 2019 continues today as Bahrain take on Thailand in Group A of the tournament.
Stephen Constantine and his men will be full of confidence after their historic win against Thailand but won't be carried away by the result ahead of their clash against the hosts.
The Englishman noted that the friendlies against Oman and Jordan were scheduled keeping in mind the two teams' similarities to UAE's style of play.
Only time will tell what's in store.