The Indian Football Team and Mumbai City FC left-back spoke about his footballing journey, ISL, favourite players and more.
As the country is under lockdown and all sporting activities suspended, ardent sports fans have seen their prime medium of entertainment taken away. Hence, to maintain their close connection with their fans, many players are taking to social media to interact on a more frequent basis with their followers. Similarly, Mumbai City FC left-back Subhasish Bose took part in a live Q&A on the Indian Football Team’s Facebook page where he answered a number of questions sent in by fans.
The live chat commenced with a question pertaining to the age when Subhasish started playing football. “I first started playing football when I was four years old. My dad had taken me to the ground to play football. I used to cry to go to the ground since my dad used to take my brother to the ground. And then he decided to take me, which led to the start of my football journey.”
When asked about how he convinced his parents to let him play football, the left-back said, “So as I said before, I didn’t have to convince them a lot that I wanted to play football. I told them I wanted to go to the ground, play football and my mom and dad wanted me to be a footballer. My dad took me to the ground, bought me studs, jersey, pads and from my childhood, he has trained me and that was my start.”
Speaking about the age he became a professional footballer, Subhasish Bose said, “I guess when I was 17, I passed out of the Pune FC academy. After that, I was awarded a senior team contract at Pune FC. That was my first professional contract and that is when I became a professional footballer. Later, I played for Churchill Brothers, Sporting Goa, Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, and now Mumbai City FC.”
He also shed some light on his transformation from entering the Pune FC academy as a striker to making his mark at the highest level in the left-back role. “I started my career as a midfielder when I was young. Later, I went as a striker for the Pune FC trials and I was selected as a striker. In the U-20 I-League, I got a chance to play as a winger and I finished as the second-highest scorer in the league. Under Naushad Moosa sir and Ranjan Choudhary sir, I was asked to play left-back since there wasn’t one at the academy. I started liking the position, performed well in that position and started feeling comfortable. Since then, I have been playing as a left-back.”
The 24-year-old made his national team debut in 2018 under Stephen Constantine. Sharing his feelings on getting the chance to don the Indian jersey, he said, “When I got selected for the Indian team, I felt proud and was happy as it was the first chance I got to represent my nation, to play for them, and something I had been working towards. I got that opportunity to prove myself.”
“My biggest footballing dream is to play in the World Cup with my country. I hope it soon gets fulfilled, we are working hard and India will soon play in the World Cup,” he added.
Asked about his toughest international outing, he stated, “Personally, every international match is important for me and they are all tough because every team competes to win. Among them, there was the game against China, which was a big away game where they had their full crowd. Secondly, the match against Bahrain, the last game in the Asian Cup that we, unfortunately, failed to win. We conceded a goal in the last minute but we learned plenty of lessons on how we could improve further. These two were my toughest international games.”
On the best and worst moment of his career, he stated, “My best moment was obviously the national team debut. Apart from that when I first captained the team in the SAFF Cup was one of my best moments for the national team. The difficult moment would be the last game in the Asian Cup 2019 against Bahrain when we lost by conceding in the 90th minute. That was a difficult game for the entire team and me, but we learned plenty of lessons and tried many things. We are trying to get better and perform better.”
The Indian national team boasts of a number of exciting talents in the forward line. When asked about who he would pick as his favourite forward among his compatriots, he answered, “All strikers and forward players are quite good but Sunil bhai ( Sunil Chhetri) is my favourite.”
“While growing up, I used to idolise him, watch him play so Sunil bhai is the player I like the most. Also, Jeje bhai (Jeje Lalpekhlua) is another player I like. I have watched him score a lot of goals, played with him and hence, I like these two players the most as strikers.”
Moreover, Subhasish named a number of gifted young Indian strikers he has played against and the best dribblers in the team. “There are many Indian strikers I could name. I cannot choose one in particular. Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh, and Jobby Justin are all good strikers and everyone has great potential. They are doing well. For the best dribblers, Brandon Fernandes and Sahal Abdul Samad are two I like and they are skilful players.”
The overall quality of the football played in the ISL has increased massively in the last couple of years. When posed the question if there is any one team or player that Subhasish Bose finds most difficult to defend against, he decided against naming any particular opposition. He instead highlighted the rise in quality of all the players, especially the domestic talent.
“All teams are difficult to play against in the ISL. Everyone competes to win. The quality of all the Indian players has risen, they are playing well and even the foreigners are great. But, this season the Indian players have scored most of the goals. So I cannot differentiate and specifically mention any one player. All are tough, the Indian players as well as the foreigners. Any player can create chances so we have to treat everyone with respect and remain focused all the time.”
Asked about his thoughts on the vociferous Mumbai City fanbase, Subhasish Bose said, “They are amazing. In the past two years, the way they have supported in both the home and away games is just amazing. They have cheered us, even if we have lost or won the game, supported us and motivated us in every match. Also, the coronavirus cases are on the higher side in Maharashtra so I want to tell the Mumbai fans to stay at home, stay safe and be happy.”
Furthermore, Subhasish revealed a certain legend is his favourite player. He said, “My favourite player is Paolo Maldini. Since I started playing left-back, I have watched him play. I admire his game style and technique. I follow Marcelo too and admire him.”
No Q&A or any football discussion for that matter of fact is truly complete without the age-old debate of who is better between the legendary duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Here’s what the India international had to say when the ultimate football question was put forward to him: “I feel both Ronaldo and Messi are legends of the game and we are lucky to witness them playing at the same time. I feel both are on the same level. Both have different qualities and technique but both are the best.”
In these distressing times, Subhasish Bose has stepped forward to provide free meals to the jobless and homeless people in this hometown Subhasgram. Talking about what prompted him to step out of the comforts of his house to make a contribution to his society, he remarked, “When I was at home, I heard that a certain family here (his hometown) didn’t get any food to eat throughout the day and even their children remained hungry.”
After listening to this, I thought of helping and went to help. When I went there, I discovered that many people are facing the same issue of not having food. I thought of helping since God has given me everything so I could do something for these people and feel good by helping them.”
“I’m trying to support them, trying to stand with them and will try as much as possible to help in the future. And request everyone to try to help in whatever small way possible. These are difficult times and we all can try together to come out better from this situation and hopefully, good times await us,” concluded Subhasish Bose.