I can’t even say for sure whether people have guessed by now that this game is called “FootBall”. I am not writing this article to spread awareness or show my disappointment. This is just a vision I carry of this game in India and ask questions to people of all ages why football in India hasn’t reached that “world-stage” till now.
Many people will be surprised to learn that the very famous club of Manchester United (of England) was established a few years before the establishment of our very own Mohun Bagan Athletics Football club (Estd. 1889). That was 116 years ago, from where Manchester United has gone on to become the richest and one of the most famous clubs in the world. While, on the other hand, Mohun Bagan, though might have earned some ‘name’ within India, it is still to get that global appeal and bring that ‘consistency factor’ into picture (Note: Mohun Bagan was on the realms of relegation to the second division in the 2004-05 season, but just managed to survive).
Does this mean we are incapable of producing a world-beating national football team or an international standard football club? Are our football icons to be restricted to a Baichung Bhutia who incidentally played for the third division English football club Bury F.C. that too for one season, or an I.M.Vijayan whom people hardly know? When will India produce talents like Ronaldo (Brazil), Zidane (France), Maldini (Italy), or at least a Nakata (Japan) whom young aspirants (sadly, if there are any) can look up to and use their idealistic ways as a stepping stone to their success?