What’s the story?
Indian-origin South African footballer Luther Singh has sparked interest from Real Madrid for his exploits in front of goal. According to Pretoria based sports portal, kickoff.com, Singh’s impressive displays in age group tournaments for South Africa has resulted in him attracting the interest of the 11-time European Cup winners. The club’s ‘B’ side have been tracking him for the past few years.
Singh scored five goals for South Africa Under-20s in the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships and ended up winning the tournament’s Golden Boot award. He followed that up this year when his four goals in the 2017 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations resulted in him winning the Golden Boot and South Africa finishing fourth.
Singh, whose family tree can be traced back to India in Punjab, currently plays at Portuguese club Braga for their reserve team. Prior to joining Braga, 19-year-old Singh played at Swedish second tier club GAIS Göteborg. He came through the ranks at the well-known Stars of Africa football academy.
Having made his debut for South Africa’s senior national team last month, Singh could follow in the footsteps of former Bafana Bafana star Benni McCarthy, who won the Champions League with Porto, should Real Madrid decide to make a move for him. He could become the first player of Indian roots to play for Los Blancos.
The heart of the matter
Singh’s agent, Farouk Khan, is a pioneer of South African football. He founded the Stars of Africa academy and has had a hand in the development of players like ex-Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie and South African national team number one Itumeleng Khune. In Singh, Khan has another gem in his hands.
Singh is a versatile forward who can play anywhere across the front line. He can play as a winger, a number 10, and a centre-forward.
Real Madrid’s ‘B’ side, known as the Castilla, are currently playing third tier football in Spain. Among their 2016/17 signings, two are centre-forwards. The team have scored only 42 times in 33 matches this season, hence adding Singh to their ranks will improve their strike force.
Singh has made four appearances for Braga B this season, scoring four goals in 276 minutes of action. However, due to international commitments, he has not featured in the team since 19th February. His last game for Braga B was a win over title challengers Varzim.
Should Singh continue his current progress, he could well end up playing for some of the biggest European clubs. Real Madrid’s interest in him shows how highly he is rated. Even though he dons South African colours, it will be a matter of pride for Indian football fans to see a player of Indian roots playing for a club as big as Real Madrid in the future.Published 10 Apr 2017, 18:35 IST