Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn will be seen as a football coach in the sports biopic 'Maidaan', the first look of which was released earlier today. Based on the life of former Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim who was the manager of the national team from 1950 to 1963, the movie will chart the golden years of football in the country.
Taking to social media, Devgn shared the first look of the poster with the caption, "Ye kahaani hai India football ke Golden phase ki aur uske sabse badey aur successful coach ki #Maidaan (This story is about the golden phase in Indian football and its most successful Indian coach.)
Charting the golden phase of Indian football
from 1951 to 1962, the Indian team was considered as the best in Asia. It started with a gold medal at the 1951 Asian Games and continued well into 1952 as well, when the Men in Blue won the Colombo Quadrangular Cup. The side repeated this feat in the next three editions as well, bagging the Quadrangular Cup in 1953, 1954 and 1955 as well.
After finishing eighth in the 1954 Asian Games, the team regrouped and pitched in with their best ever showing in the 1956 Olympic Games, where they finished fourth. In the multi-national event, Team India created and achieved a number of feats. Neville D'Souza had become the first Asian to score a hattrick at the Olympics, after he netted three goals in a league game with Australia, and India also became the first country from Asia to advance to the semis, where they lost 1-4 to Yugoslavia.
In the 1958 Asian Games India finished fourth but went on to win the gold in the 1962 Asian Games, where they defeated South Korea in the summit clash. All this while, it was Rahim who was at the helm of affairs, and his death pegged Indian football back after what has now been termed a golden period.