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I-League 2021-22: Banking on passion and hard work Rajasthan United making their way into the I-League

The first team from the desert state of India aspires to make their mark at the Indian top tiers in style.

I-league 2021-22: Rajasthan United alleges RoundGlass Punjab of fielding ineligible player

I-league 2021-22: Rajasthan United alleges RoundGlass Punjab of fielding ineligible player


Triyasha Chatterjee

Updated: 24 Dec 2021 5:22 PM GMT

With the 15th edition of the I-League commencing from December 26, it wields a powerhouse of talented teams. Talking of them, the newest entrants Rajasthan United FC comes out at the top. The club made headlines after their terrific run in the I-League qualifiers. At times they seemed to be the giant killers in the qualifiers.

Led by young founders Rajat Mishra, Kamal Singh Saroha, and Swapneel, Rajasthan United FC are set to begin their journey in the Indian top tiers. The first team from the desert state of India aspires to make their mark at the Indian top tiers in style.

Turning a dream into reality

Rajasthan United FC formerly known as the Jaipur Engineering College and Research Centre FC was founded in 2018. Turning a college team into an I-League set up in just three years required a lot of work and most importantly a driving motivation.

Speaking on that, Rajat Mishra exclusively told, "As professional footballers, it was a dream to have our club with national recognition. It was just a passion that we worked hard on achieving. "

RUFC is the first team from Rajasthan to make it into the I-League. Although they are regarded as the underdogs in the tournament, a very optimistic Rajat told, "We aim to turn our non-footballing state into a footballing one. We know we are underdogs in the national discussions but we want to change that through our performances".

Making the best use of resources

Rajasthan United FC won the I-League qualifiers this year to pave their way into India's top tiers. Speaking on their successful journey to the I-League in the very first attempt the co-owner said, "Many of the clubs who are trying to get into I-League lack real-life footballing experience"
He believes, "Having that knowledge has put us up on the map". "Some of the other owners are entrepreneurs or hold rich commercial backgrounds. We do not have that but we have a working knowledge of how things work at the ground level" Rajat further added.

The Rajasthan-based side has been preparing with major enthusiasm ahead of the I-League. Apart from their set of talented Indian individuals, Rajasthan has also roped in some good foreign signings. They have added the likes of Komron, Diego Bielkiewicz, Akeem Abioye, and Fabiano Alves under their roaster.

Speaking of the squad and the foreign recruitment, Rajat said, "I am very grateful to Marcelinho, Komron, Fabiano, and others who have signed with us. I don't think I have any one player as MVP. For me all the playing 11 on the matchday are MVPs."

A roadmap to success

Talking more of their goals ahead of the I-League and whether they see themselves in the Indian Super League, Rajat resonated with a vision. He asserted, "Our road map leads us to the Indian Super League. We want to perform our best in the I-League, become Title contenders, and make it to the ISL".

Discussing further on the competition, Rajat expressed their desire to enjoy the experience of playing in the I-League. He said, "We are new to the tournament, we are here to gain experience on the pros and cons of the League".

Apart from doing well in the top tiers Rajasthan FC also eyes to develop the footballing infrastructure in their state in the upcoming years. Rajasthan currently lacks a dedicated football stadium and this is something RUFC wants to change first.

Speaking on this plan Rajat echoed, "We don't have a proper football stadium here at Rajasthan. But as we know we need one to fulfill club registration criteria in I-League. So we are looking forward to building a stadium here at Rajasthan very soon"

The financial challenge

The RUFC management seems quite enthusiastic and passionate about developing football. But like every other Indian club financial hindrance is something the debutant I-League club is yet to overcome.

"We have a road map we have the plans. But we need financial support to take it forward. We are looking forward to investors and hopefully, we can bag some in the next season" Rajat said depicting their urge to bag in an investor.

Rajasthan United FC is all set to begin their quest for I-League on December 26th against RoundGlass Punjab FC at Kalyani Stadium.

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