Kerala Blasters star Sahal Abdul Samad entered an exclusive club, on Monday, as he became the first Indian footballer to get featured on any global sports brand handle. PUMA’s global Twitter handle, @pumafootball posted a digital creative of the 23-year-old with the caption, “There is a new PUMA in town.”
“I am happy to be part of the Puma family and represent Indian football. Sharing a platform with star players from the best European teams just means so much to me. I am grateful to Puma for welcoming me with open arms. I look forward to great journey together,” the youngster said after being featured on the global page.
Wilbur Lasrado of Inventive Sports, the agency which helped Sahal get the deal, said, “Having Sahal as the first Indian on the social media handles of a global brand like Puma is of course a big deal but more than anything for us as his agency, it feels like a big step for the whole of Indian Football.
“Having him feature alongside the likes Griezmann, Suarez, Aguero & Lukaku isn’t something we would have imagined, but it’s reality and we need to continue this momentum. It’s like, now at least the world’s eyes will focus on what is happening in India and that’s what we need. It’s one of Inventive Sports key ethos’s - This is only the beginning and there’s a lot more to come!”
About a month back, Sahal, who has earned many plaudits from his peers and fans alike, joined PUMA’s roster of Indian players Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and others as its new global ambassador. The deal saw him join the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and others as a Global Ambassador of the German sportswear brand alongside international footballers like Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suárez and Sergio Aguero.
Sahal’s rise was nothing short of meteoric as he made his way from nowhere to becoming a force to be reckoned with within a matter of a few months. He made the cut for Kerala Blasters’ senior team after impressing for the reserves and had a stellar debut Indian Super League (ISL) season, winning the ISL Emerging Player of the Season, AIFF Emerging Men’s Player of the Year, and FPAI Fans’ Player of the Year.
On the back of his superb performances for his club, Sahal was soon called up for the national team and he made the squad for the King’s Cup last year. He made his international debut against Curacao and has since bagged 9 international caps for the Blue Tigers.