Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Hyderabad FC on Thursday signed a two-year contract with experienced goalkeeper Subrata Paul. (More Football News)
The 33-year-old made 15 appearances for Jamshedpur FC in the ISL 2019-20 and will be hoping to make an impact between the posts for Hyderabad FC in the upcoming season.
“The name Hyderabad will always remain synonymous with Indian football’s history. Over the years, it has produced so many international stars and the club’s quest to revive glory days has personally appealed to me a lot,” Paul said after putting pen to paper for Hyderabad.
“Unfortunately, all these years we did not have a club from the city. Now that we have one, it did not take me long to decide on moving to Hyderabad FC and be a part of Indian football’s glory and history. Hyderabad’s love and passion for football is folklore and I look forward to playing in front of these amazing supporters,” he added.
Paul heaped praises on coach Albert Roca and further said that he will try to revive the lost glory of the city’s football culture.
“Every season is a new one and we look forward to putting up a great show for Hyderabad. Coach Albert Roca is a seasoned campaigner and his inputs and coaching will surely help the club propel forward. I can assure that we will make every team sweat that extra bit when they play us,” Paul said.
“We will be starting from scratch and I have big personal targets set for myself and the club. Reviving glory days of the city’s footballing culture is one of the targets, as much as establishing Hyderabad FC as one of the best football clubs in the country,” he added.
Paul has been a part of all six ISL seasons and will fight for a spot in Hyderabad’s starting XI with Laxmikant Kattimani, who recently signed a two-year extension with the club.
Paul made 85 appearances for the three different clubs. During that time, he has kept 26 clean sheets and made 250 saves. The ISL 2017-18 witnessed him win the Golden Glove award after keeping seven clean sheets in 18 matches.
On their new signing, Roca said, “Subrata is one of the most experienced players in the ISL and has played at the highest level in the country for over a decade. He is among the best goalkeepers in the country and there is no doubt that he will bring in quality into our squad along with his leadership, which will help a lot of youngsters in our team. He has been an integral part of the national team setup over many years. So we are very happy to have him on board.”
Fondly known as the Indian spiderman, Paul is one of the few Indian players with European pedigree, having enjoyed a brief stint with Danish club Vestsjaelland. Part of the Mumbai City FC squad for the first two editions of ISL, he moved to NorthEast United FC in 2016 before spending the last three campaigns with Jamshedpur.
An Arjuna Award recipient, Paul has also enjoyed success with the Indian national football team. He has been capped 67 times by the Blue Tigers and was part of India’s title-winning sides that lifted the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, the 2015 SAFF Championship as well as the Nehru Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2009.
He also became the only goalkeeper to win the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Player of the Year award in 2009.