FIFA U-17 World Cup Indian team stars: 10 things to know about defensive lynchpin Jitendra Singh
The FIFA U-17 World Cup is around the corner with barely two weeks remaining for the start of the mega event. 16-year-old defender Jitendra Singh is an important member of the Indian squad and is expected to be in the starting lineup for the Colts' first World Cup game against the USA.
The strong centre-back came this far after facing a lot of hardships in his life which has not stopped him from playing football.
"My father is a watchman and my mother does tailoring but that did not stop my brother from playing football. My brother is an inspiration for me, a motivation that keeps me going through tough times," the 16-year-old defender told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in the video below.
That aside, Jitendra chose football over cricket because football was a less travelled road in the country, and his decision now stands vindicated as he is representing the national team which is every athlete's dream.
Jitendra is not the only football player in the family, His elder brother plays for United Sports Club and younger brother has also started playing football. Jitendra hopes that the Under-17 World Cup which is hosted by India for the first time will be an inspiration to many young kids in India.
Jitendra will be the deputy to Amarjit Singh Kiyam after he got the second-most number of votes in an internal voting conducted among the players to find their leader.
Here are 10 things to know about this Jitendra Singh, India's defensive lynchpin.
#1 - Jitendra's family originally hails from Uttarakhand, but he was born in Kolkata as his family moved there.
#2 - The young defender was born on 13th June 2001.
#4 - Jitendra has two brothers, the elder one plays for United Sports Club and the younger one is an aspiring footballer.
#4 - His favourite Indian player is none other the Indian captain, Sunil Chhetri.
#5 - His international idol is Arturo Vidal, the powerhouse Chilean midfielder.
#6 - Jitendra's favourite city is Madrid, while Indian food is his favourite cuisine.
#7 - Shahrukh Khan is Jitendra's favourite actor and Amy Jackson his favourite actress.
#8 - Arijit Singh is his favourite singer.
#9 - MS Dhoni is his favourite movie, which has surely inspired Jitendra.
#10 - Jitendra also loves to watch boxing, which is one of his favourite sports, and listen to music.
Luís Norton de Matos will likely deploy the services of Jitendra as a centre-back. A leader at the back and an important member of the squad, Jitendra is clearly one to watch at next month's showpiece event. If he performs to the level we expect from him, India can surprise the opponents and make it into the further stages of the tournament and make the nation proud
Stay tuned to this series for more about the Indian team stars who will make the nation proud at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 will start on 6th October and the official broadcasters for the event in India are SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 3