This is a city lad and footballer who switched over to futsal to become the first Asian to be a part of a prestigious Italian team. He is also slated to play in a prestigious tournament soon, for the second time.
Yashwanth Kumar, a seventh semester student of Mechanical Engineering at Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering has already played as a goal-keeper for Calcio C 5 Club in the Serie B Italian League in May 2019. He has signed a contract for the same club, for the year 2020-21 also.
Son of N Kumar, a craftsman and businessman, and N Roopa, of NR Mohalla, Yashwanth Kumar said, “There is nobody in my family in sports. As a boy, 14 years back, I started playing football. In 2016, when I learnt about the first Premier Futsal Tournament being held in India, through an advertisement on Facebook, I took part in the selection process. I was selected for Kochi5s, owned by ES Entertainment of Kerala. Then, the Bengaluru franchise was owned by actor Puneet Rajkumar. Then I got to see legendary players, such as Marcos Evangelista de Morais, known as Cafu, Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Alessandro Rosa Vieira, known as Falacao, and Hernan Crespo”.
“Michel Salgado was the legendary player of my team. Then, I played for Kerala State team and went on to be a part of the Indian team in 2017, under the Futsal Association of India. I was fortunate to play in the Serie B Italian League as it is a prestigious event across Europe. Futsal is a European game. No Asian (or Indian) has got an opportunity to play for the prestigious tourney so far. I was fortunate to be the first Asian,” said Yashwanth Kumar.
He said, he is grateful to his football coach Praveen, who trains him by adopting the futsal format. “Futsal, also known as footsal is a variant of association football played on hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is a goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Its rules favour ball control and passing in small spaces. Its emphasis is on improvisation, creativity and technique,” he said.
Yashwanth Kumar said, he is thankful to Match Box Arena, in Garudachar Layout of Vijayanagar in the city, for allowing him to practice there.