The winger also revealed that the team had decided to dedicate Monday’s win to Sunil Chhetri.

Ahead of India’s Intercontinental Cup fixture against New Zealand, Holicharan Narzaray spoke at a media interaction on Wednesday. Narzary, as humble as he is, put aside his inhibitions and spoke openly to the press.

He also spoke about Sunil Chhetri, the captain and his experience at the 100th game of the legend by saying, “I want to congratulate bhai to have played 100 games. I want him to play as much as he can and help us win many more games. I too want to play as many games as possible.”

On being asked about the dressing room atmosphere and what Chhetri said before the game, Narzary quickly reacted saying, “Yes, we were explained by bhai (Chhetri) that we have to win for the crowd and offer them what they came for. That, we have to win it no matter what happens and reach the final. We decided in the dressing room that we need to win.”

See Holicharan Narzary’s full interaction here

He then spoke about what that game meant for him when he added, “When I came here, I came with the mindset that we have to play finals anyhow. I didn’t know bhai is going to complete his 100 games; I only got to know it in the middle of the tournament. So, I decided to gift this win to bhai.”

Speaking about his childhood memories and his own background, Narzary recounted the adverse situations he faced in his career when he said, “Not many at my place saw football as a career option.

“When I was young, I lost my dad. I didn’t see football as my career back then and wanted to help my mother in all possible ways. I worked for small money. One day, when I was returning home, I saw a group of people playing football and I questioned my grandfather if I can play the game too,” he recalled.

“My grandfather replied ‘Yes, why not?’ But, I had no money to buy myself a pair of shoes and so I played barefoot. There was a trial at SAI (Sports Authority of India) hostel which I attended after borrowing shoes from someone and got selected. Whatever I needed, I got from the coach. He provided me shoes and every other need for no money,” Narzary added.


The rain forced us to play long and high balls against Kenya- Holicharan Narzary

Tribute: Saluting the evergreen Sunil Chhetri

The video was something I wanted to say: Sunil Chhetri

“I don’t know what I would have been if not a footballer. I had no one to help me at home and it was very difficult for me to do well in studies. So, God showed me this path.”

Coming from humble beginnings, Narzary has made the left winger spot his own in the national team and he knows that he needs to work hard to continue his run as India’s left winger. About Ashique Kuruniyan, another left-sided player, he said, “There is always competition in the national team and you have to do well. Ashique is a good player and that is why he is here.”

Talking about his own development as a player, the 24-year-old revealed, “There wasn’t much pace before, but as I played more, I understood that there is need of more pace in the game whenever you play for the national team or club.”

“When I played U-16s, I played as a striker where I couldn’t perform well. So, I decided to tweak a little bit and play as a winger as I wanted more freedom. Although, it asks you to run the most among all, yet I prefer playing as a winger.”

He then went on to speak about his favourite player and explained what he watches in a football match as he said, “I like Lionel Messi very much. Whenever I watch a game, I watch what the wingers, both right and left do and what I need to do to improve myself and match them.”

Read the first part of the interview here.