Chase your dreams, Eugeneson tells youngsters

Four years ago when Eugeneson Lyngdoh signed for his first I-League side Shillong Lajong, the club got him for free. That opening, however, took the Meghalaya footballer on a wonderful journey. And at the Indian Super League players’ auction a few months ago, the Bengaluru FC midfielder saw six of the eight teams hotly bidding for him. In the end, he went to FC Pune City for Rs. 1.05 crore.

The Shillong-born footballer, who was voted as the Football Players Association of India’s Player of the Year in September, was chased by a number of teams in this year's ISL auction.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Four years ago when Eugeneson Lyngdoh signed for his first I-League side Shillong Lajong, the club got him for free.

That opening, however, took the Meghalaya footballer on a wonderful journey. And at the Indian Super League players’ auction a few months ago, the Bengaluru FC midfielder saw six of the eight teams hotly bidding for him.

In the end, he went to FC Pune City for Rs. 1.05 crore and became one of the highest-paid footballers in the country, very close to Indian striker Sunil Chhetri’s 1.20 crore. It was nearly four times Eugeneson’s base price of Rs. 27.5 lakh.

The clubs saw value in the Shillong-born footballer, I-League’s Midfielder of the Year last season who was also voted as the Football Players Association of India’s Player of the Year in September.

It has been a very adventurous journey for me. Of course, it’s all God’s gift. My football career has gone in the right direction, a lot of good people have mentored me, coached me.


“It has been a very adventurous journey for me. Of course, it’s all God’s gift. My football career has gone in the right direction, a lot of good people have mentored me, coached me ,” said Eugeneson in a chat with Sportstar.

The 29-year-old player’s ISL life hit a new high when he scored his maiden goal in the league, a stunning header in Fatorda a few days ago, which helped Pune draw level with FC Goa in the tough away game.

Life under head coach David Platt, the former England captain and under-21 coach, has opened up a new world for Eugeneson.

“Platt looks at football in a very different way, like nothing you’ve seen before. It has been a huge experience for me,” said the central midfielder. And the experience of playing with stars such England’s Nicky Shorey and Ivory Coast’s Didier Zokora “has been very fruitful.”

Turning point

Playing for Bengaluru FC was the big turning point in his career and now he is a regular member of the Indian team.

“I got into the national team through Bengaluru FC. Now, I want to keep playing for years to come. I want to be a good inspiration and example for youngsters to take up football.”

Eugeneson came to big-time football by chance. He landed in Pune to study engineering at the Maharashtra Academy of Engineering but as his worried parents watched, he began spending more and more time in the football fields and slowly quit college.

But with Eugeneson going for big money in the ISL players’ auction, his parents are now happy.

“Parents should allow children to try out different things in life, they should give them the freedom to try out sports. Children should also chase their dreams. But I also think it’s important for children to balance sport and academics,” he said.

The All India Football Federation has been talking about merging the ISL and the I-League and Eugeneson feels it’s the right move.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. However, I feel it’s better for Indian football if there is only one league.”

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