Former Indian national team goalkeeper and an Arjuna Award winner Subrata Paul announced his retirement from football on Friday. The 37-year-old played 67 times for the Blue Tigers and was one of the most reputed names in the Indian football circuit, between the sticks.
A Tata Football Academy graduate, Subrata rose to become a first-team regular under head coach Stephen Constantine and earned the nickname ‘Spiderman’ for his heroics in the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, 12 years ago.
While India lost all its games in the group stage, against Australia, Bahrain and South Korea, respectively, Subrata managed to make 16 saves in a single match against South Korea, which then featured a very young Son Heung-Min.
In a professional career spanning nearly two decades, Subrata made his professional debut with Mohun Bagan and later went on to play for its rival East Bengal as well. He was the first Indian goalkeeper to sign for an European side when he joined former Danish first division side FC Vestsjaelland in 2014 but failed to break into the main team.
Subrata was the member of the Indian team that won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008, the Nehru Cup thrice (2007, 2009, 2012), 2016 SAFF Suzuki Cup and the Tri-Nations Cup in 2017.
In 2016, he was awarded the Arjuna Award, the second-highest individual sporting award in the country, as he became the 24th footballer to win it.
In the Indian Super League (ISL), Subrata started with Mumbai City FC but his most promising performance was with Jamshedpur FC, where he won the Golden Glove Award (best goalkeeper) in the 2017-18 season.
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