FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: 5 Indian players who come from humble backgrounds
The stage is set for the second most populated country in the world to witness a major footballing event firsthand from October 6. The FIFA U-17 World Cup has given the nation a huge boost in promoting and expanding the reach of the sport. In a nation of 1.3 billion, all eyes will be on the young Indian contingent to make their country proud on the biggest of stages.
Coached by Luis Norton de Matos, these boys are the future of Indian football and will count themselves lucky to get such an exposure so early in their careers. Reaching this level has not been a cakewalk for any of these talented teenagers with some having to make some unbelievable struggles to make it this far.
In a financially unbalanced country like India, the struggles of taking up football as a full-time profession are still far from being regular. Here, we list the five Indian U-17 players who overcame great struggles to fight their way into representing India at the World Cup:
#5 Sanjeev Stalin
The Bengaluru-born Sanjeev Stalin is a vital cog in India's designs for the upcoming tournament. Playing as a defensive midfielder, Stalin has caught the attention of a number of scouts from around the country. He scored his first goal for India from the half way line; showing a supreme sense of confidence in his abilities.
Stalin comes from a very humble background with his father owning a garments' shop on a footpath in Bengaluru. Despite his limited means, Sanjeev's father has been the biggest inspiration in his life with the teenager referring to his father as his favourite player. Stalin started his football career playing barefoot and first wore a pair of cleats when he joined the Chandigarh Football Academy aged 10.