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Chuni Goswami: Swerve, dribble, shoot… repeat

Written by Mihir Vasavda

Published: May 1, 2020 1:39:03 am

chuni goswami, chuni goswami death, chuni goswami dead, chuni goswami football, chuni goswami records, chuni goswami age, chuni goswami footballer, chuni goswami family, chuni goswami died, football news, sports news Chuni Goswami breathed his final in Kolkata on Thursday. (Source: Twitter/BCCI)


Despite being a prodigious expertise, Syed Abdul Rahim – India’s most profitable coach – ignored Goswami for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. He, nevertheless, was named as Calcutta University’s captain and led them to All India Inter-University Championship title, himself scoring the profitable purpose towards Bombay University within the closing.

His repute, domestically, stored on rising since then and in 1958, he was chosen for the Tokyo Asian Games, the place he made his worldwide debut towards Burma (now Myanmar). That second on, he was an everyday with the nationwide crew till he retired in 1965 having scored 13 targets in 36 worldwide appearances and captaining in 16 of them.

As a lot as his targets, Goswami can be remembered for main the nationwide crew to unmatched heights. The gold medal at 1962 Asian Games stays his best triumph – he scored a brace within the semifinals towards South Vietnam that had eight gamers with French League expertise. He additionally captained the crew to a runner-up end within the 1964 Asian Cup in Israel.

READ | Tributes pour in for Chuni Goswami- ‘India’s first soccer celebrity’


Goswami belonged to a era of greats. What separated him from the remaining, although, was his physique swerves and dribbling talents. Olympian SS Hakeem on recalled a Santosh Trophy match between Services and Bengal, when Goswami was trapped close to the nook flag.

Hakeem, who performed for Services, thought he may steal the ball away from Goswami with a sliding sort out. But doing that to India’s greatest dribbler wasn’t going to be straightforward. Before Hakeem may even transfer, Goswami wriggled previous the defender from the tiniest of areas and charged in direction of the field.

His talents with the ball made him incomparable to every other participant of that era in addition to those which have adopted. He had an aura, a lot in order that regardless of not being probably the most disciplined participant, he was usually forgiven. Goswami had a repute of turning up late for the nationwide camps – as soon as, in reality, he turned up a fortnight late for the 1960 Rome Olympics preparatory camp in Hyderabad.

According to soccer historian Novy Kapadia, when some gamers raised voices towards the preferential therapy given to him, Rahim – the coach – retorted: “Uska maafik ball control karlo, tum bhi fir late aana (control the ball as he does, then you too can come late).”


Goswami was eight when he joined Mohun Bagan. And he by no means left them since.

Not when arch-rival East Bengal’s normal secretary Jyotish Guha, based on the e-book Barefoot to Boots, tried to lure him by providing to purchase the newest Fiat automobile. Not even when he obtained an invite to coach with Tottenham Hotspur, who – below Bill Nicholson – had simply received the European Cup Winners Cup by beating Atletico Madrid within the closing. Not uncovered to worldwide membership soccer, Goswami stated he didn’t take the supply severely as a result of he did ‘not know how good Spurs were.’

So he stayed at Bagan. And led them to nice heights within the 15 consecutive years from 1954 to 1968. He scored 200 targets for the Green-and-Maroons and helped them win the Calcutta Football League 9 occasions, the IFA Shield and the Durand Cup 5 occasions every, the Rovers Cup thrice, the Dr. HK Mookerjee Shield 5 occasions, Babu Kuer Singh Shield thrice, and the Ananda Bazar Centenary Trophy as soon as. He received 14 trophies for Mohun Bagan as captain.

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