Subrata Pal is one of the best goalkeeper the Indian Football team has ever seen. He was born on November 24th, 1986 at Sodepur West Bengal, and had his earlier education over there. He was nicknamed “Spiderman” by his colleagues because of his skills in gymnastics and goalkeeping.
His skills were given a proper momentum at the TATA football academy. He was also selected in the Junior football championships and his skills were honed by his first coach Ranjan Chowdhary.
Subrata’s love for football is so great that Ranjan fondly remembers that despite, the football trials at TATA football academy were over, he slept at the gate for two days and did not leave till his trial as a goalkeeper was taken.
For Subrata Pal, the Tata Football Academy was the only door that he had to open for himself to enter the football world and he did that with his hard work and perseverance.
The Making of the Champion
The former Indian goalkeeper Debashish Mukherjee first met him at the Bengal Santosh trophy U-23 tournament. His physical attributes and skills were so great that Mukherjee decided to give Subrata private coaching.
The Unfortunate Incident
Subrata began his career with Mohun Bagan in the year 2004 after he passed out from TATA Football Academy. At that time he was just 18 years old. It was the final of the Indian Federation Cup on December 5, 2004, there was a collision between him and Dempo forward Christiano Junior.
Due to this collision, Christiano lost his life. Most of them believe it to be because of the lack of medical facilities, but, this accident gave a great jolt to Pal’s career and Pal was banned from football for two months. After two months he emerged stronger from the incident.
The Re-emerging like a Phoenix
In the year 2007, he was selected by the East Bengal football club, the arch-rivals of Mohun Bagan. Just after getting selected by the club, the Indian National team coach Bob Houghton selected him as a goalkeeper for the national team.
With coach Houghton and Subrata pal as the goalkeeper, the national team won the 2007 Nehru Cup, the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, and the 2009 Nehru Cup. The 2009 Nehru Cup was the most important for Subrata Pal because after the match ended in a draw by 1-1, he saved three penalties of Syria enabling India to win the match.
In 2009 he shifted from East Bengal leaving behind the football frenzy of the Bengalis and joined Pune FC. This move also helped him concentrate more on his International matches of AFC cup 2011. In 2011, although India lost all the matches in the AFC Cup, his performance was highly uploaded. Subrato ended up saving 35 goals in the tournament and was given a nickname of Spiderman, due to his athletic skills.
In 2012 Subrata Pal signed for Prayag United in the I-league. Prayag United won the debut match against Air India by 5-1. In 2013, he signed the contract with IMG Reliance to play for the Indian Super League.
But, then the I-league refused to play with him because of the initial opposition. But, Rangdajied United, a Meghalaya based football club signed a contract with him in the I-league. On 22nd November 2013, he played the I-league match against Shillong Lajong at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
In the year 2014, he joined the Mumbai City FC in ISL. He played for the team till 2015. In 2014-2015 he joined Salgaoncar, Goa on loan from Mumbai FC in I-league.
In 2017, he joined the Jamshedpur team and was selected in the 2017-2018 Jamshedpur ISL team.
The Desire to Play Abroad
Right from his childhood, Subrata Pal had a desire to play for International football clubs. In 2010 he had his first trial with the Vancouver White Caps of Canada. But, that did not work out very well. He returned to India with an even greater desire.
In 2012 he had a trial and got a chance to play with and get trained at the German fourth division side, R B Leipzig. He received the best training abroad as the goalkeeper with the best techniques, which no other Indian goalkeeper had got a chance of.
On 9th January 2014, Pal signed for FC Vestsjaelland, becoming the fourth Indian player to sign for an International team and the second to join a top European side, and the first Indian goalkeeper to play abroad.
So, this is all you want to know about Subrata Pal: the best Indian goalkeeper. If you know more about him do let us know in the comment section.