Birthday Special : Gurpreet Singh Sadhu first Indian to play for top division European football club

Feb 03 2019 04:00 AM
Birthday Special : Gurpreet Singh Sadhu first Indian to play for top division European football club

Gurpreet Singh Sadhu was born on February 3, 1992 in Mohali, Punjab, India. He is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Indian club Bengaluru FC. Gurpreet took up the game of football at the age of 8. Once he started playing, he joined the St. Stephen's Academy in 2000. After good performances at the St. Stephen's Academy Gurpreet was selected for his state youth team, the Punjab U16s. Here he made his youth state level debut in 2006 in Haldwani.

He stayed at St. Stephen's Academy till 2009 when he joined I-League side East Bengal as a youth player. He spent the rest of 2009 as a youth player for East Bengal. In 2010, Gurpreet officially signed a professional contract with East Bengal.Sandhu signed for Norwegian club Stabk on 15 August 2014.

While Gurpreet made his debut for the India U19s against the Iraq U19s in the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship qualification on 5 November 2009. He was then surprisingly called up to the India national football team 2011 AFC Asian Cup 23-man squad. Gurpreet Sandhu became first Indian since 1936 to play for top division European club. Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, on January 18, 2015, became the first Indian footballer in 79 years to take the field for an European club, playing in the first tier of the country's football league structure.

With this achievement, former Kingfisher East Bengal FC goalkeeper Sandhu entered history books of Indian football at age of 22. Sandhu had been signed by Norway-based club Stabaek FC in August 2014 and was handed the first appearance of his European career in January 2015's 4-1 victory over Follo Fotballklubb.  Sandhu is the fifth Indian footballer to play in Europe after Mohammed Salim (Celtic), Bhaichung Bhutia (Bury FC), Sunil Chhetri (Sporting Lisbon 'B') and Subrata Pal (FC Vestsjaelland), but only Salim has the recognition of having represented a top-division club.  Sandhu became first Indian since 1936 to play for top division European club.  Till now, Sandhu has made more than 100 appearances for East Bengal. 

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