Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, goalkeeper of India Football team makes historic accomplishment as he turns the first Indian to feature in a top-tier league match in Europe by stepping up as the goalkeeper for his Norwegian side, Stabaek FC.
Story Of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
The 24 year old player has been waiting since 2014, after signing up to play for Norwegian cup, though he had been a part in 5 of their matches. In the Sunday match of Tippeligaen (Norwegian Premier League) Sandhu kept a clean sheet, as he defended every goal that rushed into his post and helped the team claim a victory of 5-0 against IK Start, marking a proud beginning of his career in the Norwegian cup.
Gurpreet Singh had been the best goalkeeper in the Indian team since the English coach, Stephen Constantine took over the team last year and subsequently favoring Sandhu over the veteran Subrata Paul. In the Norwegian team of Stabaek FC, Sandhu was thus far overshadowed by the team’s first choice Ivorian Coast goalkeeper Sayouba Mande.
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The Punjabi lad who is to now join the Indian National football team in Laos to play for 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers on June 2nd seems excited over his achievement as he tweets, “Proud to become the First Indian ever to start in a Top Division League game in Europe!!!!#HowYouLikeMeNow.”
The Norwegian Premier League is held in the months of March to November, when most league matches are over in Europe, due to climatic reasons. The Stabaek FC was on the field battling to hold their position in the league. With 13 matches played, the team holds the 15th position winning a total of 10 points.
Earlier in the 1936, Mohammed Salim of Bengal played for Scottish top-tier side Celtic FC but was not part of the premier division. Also other players like Bhaichung Bhutia played in the English third division in Bury FC in 1999-2000 and Sunil Chhetri, the current National skipper played for the ‘B’ team of Sporting Lisbon in 2012.