PANAJI: Having been selected for a ‘world squad’ by global football giants Bayern Munich, Indian teenager Shubho Paul has expressed his target of making the country proud. He also hailed the guidance of India under-16 coach and former Goan midfielder Bibiano Fernandes.
Representing Sudeva Delhi FC in the I-League, the versatile 17-year-old attacker impressed in the 2020-21 season. That incredible performance paved the way for the West Bengal youngster to be included in Bayern Munich’s World Squad (U-19),hand-picked by FIFA World Cup 1990 champions Klaus Augenthaler.
“It’s a really happy moment for me and my family. It’s really an amazing feeling,” Shubho is quoted as saying on the-aiff.com. “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,” he continued. “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 India Senior Teams.”
“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.
Shubho will now 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.
Shubho, who is a junior international, had been a key player under Goan coach Bibiano Fernandes as India secured AFC U-16 Championship qualification, netting two goals in three matches. “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 continued.
“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.