The Indian No. 7 will look to catch the eye of the World, which has had several stars with the same number.

‘Our aspirations are our possibilities.’ Robert Browning certainly did not have Kumanthem Ninthoinganba on his mind when he wrote this but the young midfielder certainly epitomises the line. Born into a humble background, Ninthoi always aspired to be a sportsman. Someone who goes on to represent the nation on an international platform.

“Before starting out in football, I received extensive training in Taekwondo and was doing well. At the same time I started playing football and slowly I fell in love with the game” exclaims Ninthoi.

Related to FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017

Meetei Idolised Indian Senior team captain Sunil Chhetri and Portugal Captain Sunil Chhetri.

It began playing boys double his size or age and has now brought him so far. “I used to play with the bigger boys in a small ground near my home. Initially, no one wanted me as I was small but later they said I was good enough to play with them”, he beams.

Despite having no sporting background his family supports him to the hilt. “My father is a farmer and my mom sells fish, while my elder sisters are pursuing higher education but they never discouraged me from playing. They want me to succeed and do well in football.”

“I am lucky I have parents who share my dreams and I have so much encouragement at home. I wish everyone was as lucky as me to have such support at home.”

“Right now I just hope that I do my job properly and the coach thinks that I’m good enough to play in the first XI. I know everyone wants to play but everyone can’t but I am working hard so that I am one of the chosen ones.”