The pacy defender has his eyes on the prize ahead of the big tournament.
For a defender whose stamina seems never-ending and whose agility often leaves opposition bewildered, Boris Singh often runs out of words when he describes his journey.
“I used to play football with a tennis ball when I was in school. It is what we had at that time and we had to make the most out of it”, says Boris.
It is almost unfathomable to see a kid who started playing football with a tennis ball become an integral element of the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad. Almost cinematic, some might say, but that is what Boris Singh’s life has been.
“My father used to help my mother run a grocery shop, but after the grocery shop got shut, he started working on daily terms”
“Football was something which gave me freedom. I could do what I wanted to do on the field and it felt amazing. It gave me another life”
But like his role model Cristiano Ronaldo, Boris Singh’s journey was not easy. “There were hard times”, he recalls. “My father wanted me to study and he was very strict when I was young and at the same time I wanted to play football”
“I used to play football with kids twice my age and I used to get battered almost every game. I was in a position where I did not know what was working for me in life, what was not”
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‘My father wanted me to study and he was very strict’| Boris Singh FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017
“Should I study or should I play football?”, a rhetorical question Boris asks himself and then after a second answers, “I stuck with football”, with a wide smile.
Then good tidings came. “My father recognized my passion for football and after a while, he started dropping me off to the football ground and picking me up after practice”
“Soon after I won my first trophy in football at a district level and thereafter it was as if my life had been chipped for football”
The nimble footed defender went on to represent India U-17s in the AFC U-16 Championship and has played a vital clog in defence, most recently in the Four-Nation Tournament in Mexico.
But it is not as if Boris Singh isn’t tempted almost everyday to live life like a normal teenager. “There is temptations, a lot of temptations”
“There are times when I want to eat an ice cream or have a beverage, but I cannot because that will spoil my diet. It gets hard some days but then I would not want to change a thing”
“It all comes down to priorities. My priority is to make my nation proud in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and I am focused on it. I fight temptation with motivation and I am living a dream which I don’t want to end”, adds Boris.