Rakip: 'My father sees himself in me'

Mohammad Rakip, a defender in the Indian U-17 squad from Manipur, talks about his father and villagers' support.

Representative image.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Seventeen-year-old Mohammad Rakip started playing football after being inspired by his father. The lanky defender from Manipur credits his father for his achievements. 

“My father wanted to be a professional football, but he could not. In me, he sees himself and it was his passion towards football that led me to the sport”, Rakip told AIFF Media.

“He would take me to the football field which was near our house and teach me how to kick the ball, how to pass, how to control it. In a way, he was my first coach in life”

“Whatever I do is for him and my family. I want to make him proud each and every day and that is why I credit him. I could not imagine my life if I was not playing Football”

But for Rakip it does not end with a supportive family. The small village which he hails from also supported his football journey.

“The village always came together to support me. After I made it to the Indian team the support almost doubled”

“People use to come up to me and wish me luck and whenever I used to go out, they use to ask me about the preparations”

“It was like I have a very big family”

As a footballer, Rakip juggles many things apart from a ball, the pressure to deliver is always there. “When you have so many people counting on you, the pressure is always there”

“You cannot stop thinking about how your game is progressing. Thankfully, my father guides me how to handle pressure and deal with crunch situations”

“All I am today is because of my father,” he said.