He always dreamt of playing in Europe. Now, Subrata Paul's dreams are about to come true but the 26-year-old is aware of the challenges ahead.
Kolkata: India's top shot-stopper Subrata Paul is neither excited nor intimidated in his endeavour to become the first player in independant India to play for a first division club in Europe as he gets ready for his six-month stint at Denmark's FC Vestsjaelland.
Story first published on: Friday, 03 January 2014 23:03
The first ever Indian footballer to play in Europe was Kolkata's Mohammed Salim, who played for Mohammedan Sporting before switching to Scottish giants Celtic back in 1936.
"As a kid, I always dreamt of playing in Europe... So it's a step in the right direction," the 26-year-old told PTI, days before leaving for Denmark.
Terming this as one of the memorable moments of his career, Paul said "It's a first step but the real challenge lies ahead and I'm confident to overcome it."
"Life is full of challenges. I've full faith in my ability to prove myself among the best."
After landing a six-month contract with the Slagelse based Superliga football team FC Vestsjaelland in east Denmark, Paul has a tall order to achieve -- to impress the team think tank and then prove himself to make the cut.
The 26-year-old has already achieved the first goal during his 28-day stint in October- November as goalkeeping coach Claus Fallentin was "impressed" by Paul's reflexes.
"He was quite impressed with my reflexes under the bar and offered to take me."
In a country where the current average temperature is 5-degree C, Paul hopes to remain in shape and prove his skills.
"The pressure comes with football, there's nothing to be intimidated about. I've to settle down and win their trust."
It's, however, not easy as he's going there as a third goalkeeper and the team has fielded only their first goalkeeper, Thomas Mikkelsen, in all their matches.