Meet Shubho Paul, Indian teenager picked for Bayern World squad
I-League club Sudeva FC's 17-year-old footballer Shubho Paul has been selected in the 'world under-19' squad of the German giants Bayern Munich. One of the rising talents, Shubho will be part of a training camp besides playing a friendly against Bayern's U-19 side in Germany. Here we bring you the key details of Paul and how he got to this moment.
The focus in the training will be placed on team-building and cultural exchange in addition to sporting aspects. "The FC Bayern world squad will have a training camp in Munich for all selected talents. There, the young footballers will have the chance to get to know FC Bayern and to compete in a match with the FC Bayern U-19," Sudeva FC's statement read.
Former club legend and World Cup winner Klaus Augenthaler and their coach of international programmes, Christopher Loch, German champions Bayern launched a talent hunt to pick 15 players from 15 nations to form a 'world squad'. Notably, the players had to send their short videos over a period of time and the only requirement was that they be born in 2003 or 2004.
The World squad will play against the Bayern youth team. Prior to that, they will travel to Mexico as part of the project and will play against top Mexican U-19 sides. The World squad will also play against other Bundesliga youth teams to gain experience. The selected players will leave on June 28 and will be there till July 10.
This is a big moment for all the 15 players around the world who have been selected. If someone goes on to impress, he will be offered a professional contract. As per Bayern, the project will be documented into six parts. Therefore, scouts and coaches from all over can have a look, resulting in new opportunities.
What stood out for Shubho is the consistency through which he has scored plenty of goals. As per ESPN, the youngster has netted 87 goals in 41 games across all age categories since becoming an AIFF-registered player. Shubho also helped the India U-16 team to qualify for the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship which got postponed.
In the 2020-21 edition of the I-League, Shubo bagged two goals in eight games for the club. He was handed the captain's armband towards the end of the season. Prior to that, he played in the AIFF Youth League for Sudeva Academy. In the 2019-20 season, Shubho netted 14 goals in 11 games.
Shubho belongs from Howrah, West Bengal, and was introduced to the game at the age of six by his elder brother, who gave up the sport so that the former got his chance. Shubho used to play barefoot and former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal star Chima Okori gifted him a pair of shoes after watching him play for a local team in Howrah.
The next pivotal moment in Shubho's life came when his talent was noticed by an NGO in Kolkata. The NGO helped Shubho financially, besides hiring a lawyer to oversee his professional contracts. He was among the first to be picked in a pool of around 400 kids at a Bengaluru FC trial. Despite East Bengal picking him, Shubho had his heart set in Delhi.
Shubho was selected by Sudeva's scouting team during the grassroots and youth trial in the year 2017. The club took complete care of Shubho. "Since May 2017, Shubho has been given the facility of boarding, lodging, training, and schooling. As part of our commitment towards striking a balance between sports and academics, we are also providing regular tuition to the child," the club said.
It's safe to say Shubho is in the right place. The club has provided him the environment needed to shine. This is a moment for the Bengal youngster to cherish and his family is excited about the opportunity at hand. The learnings and exposure will help Shubho in raising his game. Shubho, who idolizes Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski, has a bright future ahead.