Pal in 2008
|Date of birth||24 November 1986|
|Place of birth||Sodepur, India|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2001–2004||Tata Football Academy|
|2013||→ Rangdajied United||6||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 January 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Subrata Pal (Bengali: সুব্রত পাল) (born 24 November 1986), often known as Subrata Paul, is an Indian footballer, who currently plays as a goalkeeper for FC Vestsjælland in the Danish Superliga and the India national football team.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Pal started his career in Mohun Bagan. During the Federation Cup final against Dempo on 5 December 2004, he was involved in the incident where Dempo striker Cristiano Júnior lost his life after the two collided. Paul was suspended for two months as a result of this .
After playing for Indian club Mohun Bagan A.C., Subrata was signed by rivals Kingfisher East Bengal F.C. in 2007 and was one of their most important players from 2007 to 2009. He was adjudged the I-League's best goalkeeper in 2007 due to his athleticism and commitment, he even pulled off many improbable saves, giving his team many crucial wins, the biggest one being in the Federation Cup in 2007. This enabled them to play in the AFC Cup 2008.
On 2 June 2009 he joined Pune F.C.. In the middle of the I-League 2009-10 season Pal had a trial stint with top Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the summer of 2010, and said he was looking for a chance to play in professional leagues in Europe and Asia.
He later said "There was no offer coming from any club agent of any country during the Asian Cup. But I am looking for any offer to play abroad. Europe is the best place to play. But I am game to go to countries like South Korea, Japan, Australia and even the West Asian countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia," On 22 January 2011 Pal played and started his first I-League match of the 2010-11 season with Pune FC. The match ended in a bad note as Pune FC lost 0-1 against Churchill Brothers S.C..
Pal signed for Prayag United S.C. of the I-League on 9 May 2012. He made his debut for the club on 7 October 2012 against Air India at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata in which Prayag United managed to win 5–1.
Pal started off well in the 2011-12 I-League impressing the new coach however his form would soon wear thin. On 29 December 2012, Prayag United lost to low-table team Sporting Goa. In the last seven matches, from that point, Pal was the goalkeeper and the team lost 5 of those matches and won and tied once. This was enough for the coach to replace Pal between the posts and have Sangram Mukherjee replace him while Pal sat on the bench during league matches.
After the season ended Pal signed for IMG-Reliance to play in their new, franchise league called the Indian Super League. However, due to Pal signing-up for the ISL, none of the I-League clubs wanted to sign him as they were all opposed to the Indian Super League, but, on 20 November 2013, despite earlier rejecting ISL signed players, Rangdajied United F.C. of the I-League agreed to sign Pal on as well as Gouramangi Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Manandeep Singh, and Tomba Singh. He made his debut in the I-League on 22 November 2013 against Shillong Lajong F.C. at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong in which he played the whole match as Rangdajied drew the match 1-1.
On 9 January 2014 it was confirmed that Pal had signed for FC Vestsjælland of the Danish Superliga, thus becoming the fifth Indian footballer to play professionally abroad, the second to join a top-tier European side, and the first Indian goalkeeper to play abroad.
Subrata has played for India at all age groups. He rose to prominence with the Under-23 team in the Pre-Olympic qualifiers where he pulled off 3 saves in a crucial penalty shootout against Myanmar hence enabling India to qualify for the Group stage. In the group stages his goalkeeping abilities helped India pull off an unexpected draw at home against the formidable Iraq.
In 2007 he replaced Sandip Nandy as the Indian Senior Team's number 1 for the Nehru Cup in 2007 where he was adjudged the best goalkeeper in a competitive field which included the likes of Mosab Balhous.
Nehru Cup 2007
Pal was noted for his sharp goalkeeping as part of Baichung Bhutia's successful Indian team of the Nehru Cup 2007. His saves were noted in the semifinals against Kyrgyzstan, which enabled India to reach the finals of this tournament for the first time. In the final, India faced Syria, against whom they had lost an earlier group stage match. In this match, he together with Mahesh Gawli of Goa and other defenders, staved off wave after wave of attack by the pre-match favourites, Syria. India defeated Syria by a 1-0 margin to win the tournament for the first time. Indian team coach Bob Houghton said that "Subrata Pal was splendid in the goal", while The Hindu wrote:
- India owed the triumph immensely to an impeccable performance under the bar by Subrata Paul. His anticipation in cutting off Syria’s aerial forays was the most striking feature of the contest.
AFC Challenge Cup 2008
He was part of the victorious Indian National team in the AFC Challenge Cup 2008. His important saves especially in the finals helped India qualify for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup for the first time in 24 years.
Nehru Cup 09
He was also part of the victorious Indian National team in the Nehru Cup International Football Tournament 2009 He was involved in three spectacular saves, and put the Cup back in India's hands. Due to his keeping, India won the final match 5-3 on penalties. He stopped the deciding shot on goal to help India clinch the Nehru cup.
AFC Asian Cup 2011
He was the goalkeeper for the Indian football Team in the AFC Asian Cup 2011. He made more than 35 saves in the whole tournament and has become one of the stars of the team since. After the game against South Korea, he made the headlines by some leading newspapers who were calling him 'Spiderman', 'real MVP (Most Valuable Player)' and with headlines like 'Indian team GK, 16 times super-save! Who is this guy?'. To these references, he humbly said, "I am not a spiderman, just a novice learning my goalkeeping. I am happy that I have made those saves and done something for the team and country." The Times Of India said that Pal was the best performer among the Indians in the Asian Cup in Doha where they lost all their group matches. Had it not for Pal's heroics, India would have lost by bigger margins in all the three matches.
World Cup 2014 Qualifiers
He was also the first choice goalkeeper for India in their World Cup Qualifier match against United Arab Emirates national football team. Subrata even captained the side in a warm up practice match for this tie, which India won against Qatar 2-1. He could not repeat his heroics against the UAE side as he was sent off in the first 30 minutes, and India were reduced to 9 men. India lost that game 3-0 as a result of two penalties and ultimately the tie 5-2.
Statistics accurate as of 5 March 2014.
- Subhajyoti Banerjee (2009-06-02). "Pune FC signs Subrata Pal". IndianFootball.Com. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Paul for United". The Calcutta Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 2012-05-10. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
- "Prayag United 5-1 Air India: Ranti Martins’ hat-trick grounds the Airmen". Goal.com. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Ghoshal, Amoy. "I-League: Rangdajied United to loan Gouramangi, Subrata and three more IMG-R players". Yahoo News. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Rangdajied Bolster Their Squad With National Stars". I-League. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Shillong Lajong vs. Rangdajied United 1-1". Soccerway. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- [tt_news=3435 "Indisk landsholdmålmand er landet i Danmark"]. FC Vikings. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
- Jaydeep Basu (2007-08-27). "Bhaichung leads dazzling display: India demolish Kyrgyzstan 3-0 to make final for first time". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph (Kolkata). Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- Valiant India go down to Syria
- Press Trust of India (2007-08-29). "This is the beginning of Indian football: Bhaichung". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- Vijay Lokapally (2007-08-30). "India wins Nehru Cup". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- Subrata Pal at National-Football-Teams.com