Indian football star Bala Devi beat the likes of Son Heung-Min, Sardar Azmoun, Sam Kerr and others to be named the AFC International Player of the Week.
Earlier this week, Bala Devi became the first Indian woman to score a goal in a top-level European league for Scotland’s Rangers. It was this history-making goal which earned her a nomination.
Tottenham Hotspur star Son Hueng-Min, who has been in terrific form in the Premier League this season, Chelsea’s Sam Kerr, Sardar Azmoun, Saki Kumagai of Olympique Lyonnais, Mehdi Taremi of FC Porto were some of the others to have been nominated.
However, in the end, it was Bala Devi who took home this week’s honour with 50% of the votes. The 30-year-old had signed an 18-month contract with Scottish side Rangers in January after which she also became the first Indian woman to play professional football in a top-flight European league.
“I just want everyone to continue supporting us so we can keep achieving bigger things for the country in the future,” the national team star had stated recently.
“Ever since I gave my trials at this club (Rangers), I wanted to inspire every Indian player back home. I have wanted to be an inspiration for all the girls and young players in India who want to play internationally.
“It is something that has always been on my mind and I take it into account every time I step on to the pitch.”