From Jammu to Yamuna: Ragav Gupta shines for Rajasthan United
The 23-year-old midfielder is yet to score for Rajasthan, but has been a crucial man for them in the 2022-23 season so far.
The world of football is rife with stories of talented youngsters coming through difficulties to set the stage alight with their abilities on the pitch. The Hero I-League 2022-23 campaign may still be in a fledgeling state, but it has already thrown such youngsters into the limelight.
Rajasthan United FC's Ragav Gupta is one such player who has come all the way from the valleys of Jammu to the banks of the Yamuna, where the Desert Warriors have found their oasis in the form of the famous Ambedkar Stadium. Rajasthan have now lodged 11 points out of a possible 18, and are looking to build on a strong start to their Hero I-League season.
The 23-year-old midfielder is yet to score for Rajasthan, but has been a crucial man for them in the defensive midfield position, helping his side create chances from a deep-lying position.
"We are in a good position in the I-League right now, and we want to go even further. We want to bring the trophy to Rajasthan. It's been a good start, and we're working hard to push even further," said Gupta to the I-League media team.
It may have been smooth sailing for the Rajasthan midfielder in the first six matches of the Hero I-League, but he has had immense support from his family, especially his father and brother.
"I am ever so thankful to my father and brother for the support they have given me over the years, and are giving even now. They watch all of my games on TV and later we speak about the game, what I could do to further improve. they also motivate me a lot," he said.
Ragav's love for football had started when he began going to the ground with his brother, but it was not before he started training with local BSF coach Vishwa Mitter that his talents started to be notices.
The youngster soon started to play regularly at the local level, and his father, who sells vegetables in Jammu, would shut shop whenever his sons would play a match.
"People used to think that my father was absolutely mad. Why would he close his shop to watch us play, when he could have been earning a few extra bucks. They would think," recalled Ragav. "But him being there was always an inspiration.
"Now he is a proud father watching his son play on TV. It feels great. I would never have got here without his support. He is my biggest inspiration," said Ragav.