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Indian Football Team of the Year 2020 – Right back: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Prabir Das

Indian Football Team of the Year 2020 – Right back: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Prabir Das

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 30 Dec 2020 7:39 AM GMT

Prabir Das has always been the underdog. The former FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos defender has had to put in the hard yards before finally reaching the pinnacle of Indian football with ATK, twice. Today, he is one of the most important cogs in Antonio Lopez Habas’ side and is crucial for their defensive balance.

He started his career as a striker playing for Pailan Arrows but was later converted into a right full-back. After being on the fringes at FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos in the first two seasons of the Indian Super League (ISL), he finally found a home in ATK. An ISL title, a couple of short spells at Mohun Bagan and a major injury later, the 27-year-old finally came into his own last season.

He was one of the key figures in ATK’s league title triumph and finished with 5 assists, 64 tackles and 85 clearances in 20 games for the Kolkata side. This earned him a contract extension and after Mohun Bagan’s merger with ATK, it was evident that he would be a big part of the Mariners side going forward.


This season too, his contribution has been noteworthy so far. The arrival of Sandesh Jhingan might have seen Habas favouring the more experienced Pritam Kotal in the right back position, but even then, Das has featured in every game so far and already has one important assist to his name. What makes him a huge asset is his relentlessness and the passion with which he goes for every 50-50 ball.

Add to that his speed and his ability to bomb down the right flank and whip in delicious crosses for Roy Krishna and David Williams to feast on, and you have one of the most complete full-backs in the country. Nothing illustrates the last point better than the fact that he had a total of 66 crosses from which he got his five assists last term. The balance that he has managed to achieve between the defensive and attacking side of his game is indeed praiseworthy.

His performances in the beginning of the year saw him earn a call-up for the national team camp. However, the pandemic foiled those plans as India’s qualifiers were called off. With this season’s ISL nearing its midway point, Das will be hopeful that his hardwork in training keeps him in the thoughts of his head coach. For the time being though, he is an absolute shoo in for The Bridge’s Indian Football Team of the Year in the right back position.

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