Shabbir Ali

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Shabbir Ali
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-01-26) 26 January 1956 (age 61)
Place of birth Hyderabad, India
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
0000–1972 Hyderabad Arsenal Club
1972 Tata Sports Club
1972–1973 East Bengal
1973–1985 Mohammedan
National team
1974–1984 India 110 (35)
Teams managed
1985–1992 Mohammedan
1992–1993 Rajasthan Club
1993–1995 Peerless
1997–2000 Salgaocar
2000–2001 Mahindra United
2004 Churchill Brothers
2005 Salgaocar
2007–2010 Mohammedan
2011–present Southern Samity
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Shabbir Ali, (born 26 January 1956) is an Indian association football manager and former player.[1]

He was awarded the Dhyan Chand Award, the highest award in Indian sports for lifetime achievement, given by Government of India in 2011.[2][3]


As a footballer, Shabbir Ali was rated as the best player in India during the 1970s and 1980s. Arguably the finest striker of his time, Shabbir was a prolific goal scorer both at the national and international level. He rose to fame at a very early age when he captained India to win the Asian Youth championships in Bangkok jointly with Iran in 1974, a performance which even earned praise from the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.[1]

After playing with Tata Sports Club in Bombay for a few years, Shabbir Ali was lured away by the top Calcutta club, East Bengal in the late seventies. Later he joined Mohammedan and took the club to a great height before retiring from the same club in the mid-1980s.

Shabbir Ali scored 35 goals in international matches and remains one of India's all-time top scorers, ahead of Chuni Goswami, PK Banerjee, Inder Singh and Baichung Bhutia among others. In the 1976 Merdeka international football tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Shabbir Ali scored a hat-trick against Indonesia in the first 35 minutes. Only five footballers in India have scored an international hat-trick; of those, Shabbir Ali's is the fastest.[1]

For 13 years between 1972 and 1984, Shabbir Ali was an automatic choice with the Indian team, be it Asian Youth, Asian Games, pre-Olympics, Asia Cup, Merdeka tournament, Jawaharlal Nehru Gold Cup, King's Cup or any other goodwill tour. He also captained India in Asian Youth, pre-Olympics, Nehru Cup, Merdeka and King's Cup tournaments.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring as a footballer in 1985, Shabbir Ali became a coach. He earned a first class diploma from the Sports Authority of India. He successfully passed the German football association B License coach and also their four-week coaching course, which is equivalent to A License.[1]

As a coach, Shabbir Ali proved to be a great success within a short period of time. Appointed the Technical Director of the India, Shabbir Ali steered the team to the gold medal in the SAF championship in Chennai in 1995. It was a superb achievement considering the fact that India failed to win in the three previous SAF championships at Colombo, Islamabad and Dhaka. He remained the Technical Director till the pre-World Cup tournament in Qatar next year.[1]

In the 1991–92 seasons, he made Mohammedan the Champion Club of India having won four tournaments and finished runners-up in two others. Next season, he took up the challenge of coaching a relatively smaller club when he accepted the assignment with Peerless Club. It took him only one season to promote the club to the Calcutta Super Division.[1]

Between 1997 and 1999, Shabbir Ali coached top Goan outfit Salgaocar and established himself as India's best coach. Barring a few like PK Banerjee and Syed Nayeemuddin, no other coach in India could win so many titles in such a short span as Shabbir Ali did.[1]

It started in 1998 when Salgaocar won the Goa Professional League under him and went on to win the Indian Super Cup defeating the National League champions, Mohun Bagan. Next Salgaocar won the National League title, the only time a Goan team could win it till date. Shabbir Ali then took the team to Bombay and won the Rovers Cup. Thereafter, the team flew into Delhi to bag the Durand Cup beating both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal and then tamed Mohun Bagan again in the Super Cup contest. No other teams in India have been given such a great run in Indian football in recent years.[1]


He has been awarded Dhyan Chand Award and rewarded as India's best football coach, towards his service to coach Goan outfit Salgaocar Club between 1997 and 1999.[1][4]