I want them to say ‘a good player has come for India’: Shubho Paul

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Shubho Paul (No.7) in action

Delhi: Young Shubho Paul grabbed the headlines when he was selected in the Bayern Munich world U-19 side last week. His impressive and consistent performances for Sudeva FC at the 2020-21 I-League bore the fruit as the 17-year-old Bengal lad was one of the 15 handpicked by 1990 World Cup champion Klaus Augenthaler.

“It’s a really happy moment for me and my family. It’s really an amazing feeling,” Shubho Paul told AIFF. “We had a decent first season in the I-League, and our club management sent in some of my match videos, and suddenly I was informed that I had been selected by Bayern Munich.”

“It is like a dream, but I also have a thought in the back of my mind that I need to make my nation proud, once I go there. I want to play in such a manner that they should look at my game and think that a good player has come out of India. Ultimately, I would love to make it to both the Bayern Munich and the senior Indian team.”

With the whole world under the COVID-19 umbrella, Shubho Paul’s ticket to Germany happened online. The German giants asked for the full match footages to get a better analysis on the young attacker. Initially, 100 players from around the world were selected before it was trimmed down to 64, to 35, and finally to 15.

“Once I was selected in the 100s list, we had different kinds of assessment over video calls with the coaches from the club. Then finally, when they announced the list of 15 players that will train and play in Germany, I was surprised to see my name there,” smiled Shubho Paul.

The Indian will first travel to Mexico, where the squad of 15 will assemble and train for 13 days, before flying off to Germany, where he is set to train with the Bayern Munich U-19 team, and play matches against local teams, including the Bayern Munich U-19 side.

Starting his journey at the Sudeva Delhi FC academy, Shubho Paul honed has donned the Indian jersey before. He won the SAFF U-15 Championship in 2019 scoring three goals. He also put up a stellar performance in India’s AFC U-16 Championship qualification campaign, netting two goals in three matches.

“Sudeva helped me a lot. I’ve been at the academy since I was 12, and have learnt all the basics from there. The owners, our club owners have been extremely helpful to me. They even played an active part in sending these videos to Bayern Munich,” said Shubho Paul.

The youngster also credited India U-16 coach Bibiano Fernandes for his tactical aspect of the game. “I learnt so much from Bibiano sir. The fact that I am playing as a winger today, and the fact that I can play on both the left and right wings, is down to him. He taught me the nuances of playing on both the wings, and I’ll be eternally grateful to him for that,” he concluded.

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