When he was a youngster, SC East Bengal keeper Arindam Bhattacharya looked up to the likes of Sandip Nandy and Subrata Paul. One of his biggest idols in the game was German legend, Oliver Kahn. Seeing Kahn play against Mohun Bagan back in 2011 is a memory Arindam holds close to his heart.
“This was right before the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. I had come back to India because I had injured my shoulder. I went to the stadium one and a half hours before the game just to see Kahn’s warm-ups. The kicking was right and his gripping was so good — he did not lose one ball. After the warm-ups, a coach was kicking a few balls towards him. Kahn caught 10-12 and when it was over he punched the last ball casually and it reached the halfway line. I am not exaggerating! And this was at the Salt Lake stadium and I was like okay, this guy is a beast. I was too starstruck to follow anything else, I was just focussing on him. I will never forget how he punched the ball. That’s all I remember (laughs).”
Read the full interview with the East Bengal keeper: