'I have an unconditional love for football'

CANDID CHAT

Robin Singh is just 24-years-old but he dreams to take the country’s passion for football to a next level.

A professional footballer, who plays as a forward for Bengaluru FC in the I-League, league for association football clubs, Robin represented India in 2012 Nehru Cup and 2014 AFC Challenge Cup where he gave India a last minute win against Chinese Taipei.

These days, Robin is in town to spend time with his family and friends giving Metrolife got an opportunity to talk to the player. 

“I have an unconditional love for football. Even if I have a bad day I play football to feel positive about things around me. It is everything to me,” says Robin, who wouldn’t have been a fotball player, if he would have seriously considered the advice given by Chandigarh Football Academy. 

“I was 14 years-old when the coach of the academy told me that I can never be a good footballer. It could have been the end,” says Robin, least demoralised by the remarks. Instead he got a challenge to prove that chasing dreams is never wrong. He shifted to Jamshedpur where he joined the Tata Football Academy.  After playing for the academy for four years he went into an official contract with the East Bengal Football Club. 

“I wanted to be a soccer player. My grandfather was also a footballer who represented India at Helsinki Olympics. More so, my mother belongs to Kolkata. So my love and inclination towards sports was expected,” says Robin, who is an equally good cricketer. 

He could have chosen to become a cricketer but he decided to take the path less travelled. He accepts that football is the second sport after cricket in the country.  “For me, it was never a tough choice to select between the two sports,” he says. “But many soccer enthusiasts don’t know how to shape their career in the sport because they think it is not equivalent to cricket and there is no scope of international exposure,” says Robin. 

 But he doesn’t believe in this. According to him when it comes to football ‘India is a sleeping giant’. “I took up this sport because I want to awaken this giant. I could bring a change in the thinking of people by becoming the front runner, making all possible efforts to make Indian Football team popular at the international level,” he says. 

Robin says that a revolution has already begun with the introduction of the much-anticipated Indian Super League with eight teams owned by Bollywood celebrities and I-League clubs. So far, Robin hasn’t been approached by any of the teams but he is of the opinion that this will be the turning point in the history of sports in the country. “When any celebrity or actor gets attached to anything people tend to follow their way,” he says. Ask him about the attention he gets from female fans, he laughs, “I am still looking for attention.”

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