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Sunil Chhetri is my inspiration in football- Shubham Sarangi

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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Sarangi's strike partner in India U-17 Football Team Rahul KP picked Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as his idol...

The India U-17 national team are undergoing some rigorous training with the FIFA U-17 World Cup two and a half months away right now and their coach Luis Norton de Matos attended a press conference in the capital earlier today where he spoke about various subjects prior to traveling to South America for a preparatory tour. The coach also brought along two of India’s brightest young talents in Rahul KP and Shubham Sarangi to interact with the media.

The duo have been extremely impressive for the junior national team during their preparation for the U-17 World Cup and have scored many goals in the team’s tours around Europe.

Also read I want to see how prepared India are for the World Cup by facing Chile, Colombia and Mexico- Luis Norton de Matos

The two were asked about whether any particular player inspired them to become a professional footballer and what is the craziest thing they’ve done in their football career. Sarangi spoke first and said, “Every player has a history. Most the players in Indian football have come from mediocre backgrounds and they all had inspiration from footballers. For me, there are a few Indian players to look up to and the one who inspired me is Sunil Chhetri. I’ve seen him play, played with him when I was small. He came to my school when I spoke to him and I don’t know whether he remembers or not, but for me he is my inspiration.”

He continued, “I’ve told so many lies to my parents, going to play in early mornings without telling them and skipping my school at times.”

Rahul was asked about his own inspiration and said, “I would say, Cristiano Ronaldo, because the way he worked hard and I'm following his game, like how he moves and how he trains. I’m crazy about him!” Speaking about his own crazy football stories, Rahul said, “I bunked classes a lot of times. Sometimes, Father used to beat me for being late. But my love for football never went anywhere. That’s why I’m here and football is something I can die for.”

Also read HERE! Mark your dates for the FIFA U-17 World Cup!

The young strikers were then asked to describe something about their background and who introduced them to the game. Shubham spoke on this and said, “My mom, dad and my elder sister in my family. I was born in Andra Pradesh from there we shifted to Delhi and after 4-5 years of that, I used to see some boys playing football. So that always used to make me curious and excited to know about the sport. I went to them, but they were big so they never used to take me to play. So I learnt from them, it was new to me so I really liked it and enjoyed playing once I started. I am blessed that God has created this game which is everything for me.”

Rahul also spoke on his background and said, “I picked up on football from when I started walking as a toddler as my dad and many members of my family had already started playing football. So for me, there was no particular support from mom or dad alone as they had their own jobs to be able to feed us. For me, my uncle was everything and he used to take me when he used to play, he used to take me whenever he used to travel. I was always with him so he taught me how to play football when I started walking. I only thought about football, football, and football. So I think that’s the love for football. My uncle trained me to score goals, on how to kick and the love was growing. It was a bit difficult for me as I trained alone and my family background was a bit rough. So, I got a fighting mentality from that and believed that I could do it as anything can happen in football.” 

Published: Thu Jul 20, 2017 06:31 PM IST

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