Happy that I didn't let Bob down: Subrata Paul

Indian goal keeper Subrata Paul celebrates celebrates the team's victory against Syria in the final of the Nehru Cup soccer tournament.PTI

It is difficult to associate such a pleasant person who believes in god and destiny with the sad accident on a football field leading to the demise of Brazilian Cristiano Junior five years ago.

Apart from having to live down that tragic incident, Paul had to face a lot of hurdles in his career. The two well-known Kolkata clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal would not look at him.
Paul was charged by Mohun Bagan coach Amal Dutta for allegedly taking bribe in 2006 while he was thrown out of East Bengal this season allegedly for unbelievably poor performance.
But the one man who noticed immense potential in Paul is India's chief coach Bob Houghton who thought he is the right man to tend the India goal.

"I have no grudge against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. I had nothing to prove. I always felt that we could win against Syria. But for me I didn't want to let down Bob sir. He had a lot of faith in me and I am happy that I made my contribution in the win," said the 23-year-old, after making three stupendous saves in the penalty shoot-out.
Paul also remembered his coach and former India goalkeeper Debashish Mukherjee. The former goalie played a crucial role in bringing a change in his behaviour after the Cristiano episode.
"Had it not been for Debashish da, I wouldn't have been playing at the Ambedkar Stadium. I shall always be grateful to him," said Paul, who has been signed for newly promoted I-League team, Pune FC.
India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and Houghton were all praise for Paul and felt that his best was yet to come.
"Subrata has been in an outstanding form and I have always maintained that he is the No.1 goalkeeper in the country."
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