GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
3-min read

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mohun Bagan's Rahim Ali is India’s Perfect No.9

As India prepares for their World Cup bow, the man on whose shoulders will lay the responsibility of finding the back of the net is likely to be Mohun Bagan’s Rahim Ali.

Arjit Dabas | News18 Sports

Updated:October 6, 2017, 11:34 AM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mohun Bagan's Rahim Ali is India’s Perfect No.9
India U-17 players train. (AIFF/Twitter)
New Delhi: As India prepares for their World Cup bow, the man on whose shoulders will lay the responsibility of finding the back of the net is likely to be Mohun Bagan’s Rahim Ali.

Ali is one of the two strikers in the 21-men squad and is among the strongest of all the players selected. He is 6ft tall and his physical presence in the box makes him a key player for India, especially in set pieces. Considering all of India’s opponents are likely to be technically superior, the role of a striker becomes that much more difficult as the chances to score might well be far and few.

Like many of his other teammates, Rahim hails from a rather humble background. “I hope he gets to play, winning or losing doesn’t matter as long as he gives his 100 per cent and plays well,” Rahim’s father - who works as a driver - Mohammad Rafiq says.

“His elder brother used to play football and it’s from him that Rahim picked up the game. He used to keep playing with the ball,” Rafiq adds.

His brother Anwar Ali, says that he never expected Rahim to be a part of India’s first ever World Cup team.

“He used to play in parks and train with me, we used to go together to Indian Club to play. Initially it was just for fun but after he got selected for Mohun Bagan he started taking the game more seriously,” Anwar adds.

Rafiq and his family haven’t yet gotten the tickets to watch their star son but remain hopeful that something will materialize soon.

Rahim is a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, and if his coaches are to be believed, it was his hard work which made him the player he is today – much like his idol!

Ameya Ghosh, the 73-year-old who was among the first coaches Rahim had recollects the day he saw the tall striker for the first time,

“His height stood out for me, his physical presence could prove to be an advantage in the opposition box but at first his shooting and heading skills weren’t really up to the mark,”

Ghosh adds that Rahim was initially picked out to be a goalkeeper and later changed into a striker.

“His technical ability wasn’t good but he was willing to learn and work hard. That is one of the reasons why he finds himself in the squad today,” Ghosh adds,

Ghosh will be travelling to Delhi to watch Rahim in action and you can hear the passion as well as the excitement in his voice, almost like a teenager as he waits for the World Cup to kick off.

Naseem Ali, who is a part of the staff at Mohun Bagan youth academy, is rather confident that Rahim will make the Bengal club proud,

“He is a good solid striker and a great talent, he can shoot and make runs, his physical presence will also be beneficial for the team,” Ali says.

“He has played for India right from the sub-junior levels. First, he was selected for Bengal sub-juniors and then went onto be a part of India sub-juniors. He was among the three players selected from Mohun Bagan, but only he went onto remain a part of the team. His hunger is what set him apart from others,” Ali adds.

After being part of Bengal Juniors, Rahim was spotted by AIFF scouts and his goal scoring ability meant he went onto become a part of the AIFF Elite Academy.

Rahim hails from Ichapore, a small village in Barrackpore – the town which is famously known as the place where revolt of 1857 started, come 2017 a man from the same town could be a reason for the beginning of a footballing revolt in the country!

Also Watch

| Edited by: Baidurjo Bhose
Read full article