Any discussion on Indian Football is bound have a reference of or two about Mohun Bagan and will sooner or later rake up the issue of the Indian Football Team’s bare-feet adventure and misadventure during the two Olympics. And from there it is all the “Good Old Golden Days of Football,” often forgetting to acknowledge the great moments of contemporary Indian Football. Yes, there are a few great moments, not many but nevertheless a few we as Indians should be proud of. Here are a few you should know:
Though India has never played a World Cup Final, an Indian did! Meet Vikash Dhorasoo, an Indian origin French citizen, who played for France against Italy in the 2006 World Cup Finals. Similarly footballer Majid Baskar played for Iran in the 1978 World Cup. Back home he represented the East Bengal team between 1980 and 1981. Then there is Emeka Ezueugo who made it to the Nigerian 1994 World Cup Team, after honing his skills in domestic matches representing East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting.
The Indian Team has been missing from the World Cup since long, but not all things Indian. The country known for his enterprising capabilities was omnipresent at the 2010 South African World Cup through the Football Ball itself. All the inner rubber bladders of the official FIFA Balls were made in India by a Delhi based company for that particular World Cup. If Manufacturing was there, can technology be far behind? Mahindra Satyam was the official IT service provider for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
And let’s not forget contemporary legend Baichung Bhutia who became the second Indian player after Mohammed Salim (from the good old golden days) to play abroad as he was signed by English third division outfit Bury FC. Back home, under his captaincy, India won the LG Cup in Vietnam in 2002, South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships thrice, two Nehru Cup titles (in 2007 and 2009) and the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup which assured them a place in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.