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'Society didn't like a woman taking a boy to the ground,' says FC Goa's Muhammed Nemil

As a part of our ISL Spotlight series, we speak to FC Goa's Muhammed Nemil who recalls his footballing exploits which span from the Reliance academy to Spain.

Society didnt like a woman taking a boy to the ground, says FC Goas Muhammed Nemil

Muhammed Nemil


Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 9 Oct 2022 3:00 AM GMT

Society can be quite vexing at times and for the most absurd reasons. FC Goa's Muhammed Nemil had to go through something similar at a very young age. However, with fame and fortune, this too passed.

Now, Nemil will be playing for the Gaurs for the second season running in the Indian Super League. Coming from a wonderful Durand Cup campaign, the young midfielder is surely a player to look out for.

Family support over everything

Nemil's association with football comes from his childhood when he used to play on the streets of Calicut, Kozhikode. The realization that the sport was his calling came when he joined his first club.

"When I joined Marian Malabar, a club in Calicut, that's when I realized I can play football. Even the coaches saw a future in me. The turning point was when I joined Reliance Foundation Young Champs," Nemil thought and answered.

The 20-year-old comes from a family of sports enthusiasts. While his elder sister, an erstwhile cricketer, and elder brother, a former goalkeeper, discontinued their sporting careers, the youngest of the siblings continues to kick the ball.

It was Nemil's mother who used to take him to the grounds every evening on a scooty. Society, however, wasn't fond of this.

"My family was always supportive of me. But, society doesn't like a woman taking a boy to the ground on a scooty every day in the evening, maybe because of that. Now, everything's fine," said a smiling Nemil.

From Spain, with experience

Thanks are in order for that friend's father who had seen a newspaper advert on the Reliance academy and told Nemil about it.

Out of 600 budding footballers, a bunch of 24 youngsters was selected to be the coveted first batch. "In the initial days, I used to cry as the schedule was tough. Now that I think back, I feel it was all worth it," Nemil said on his Reliance academy days.

After graduating from the academy, he was sent to Marcet, which was an academy in Spain. After a year, Nemil signed for FC Goa and then was loaned off to Gramenet's youth side.

"There's not much difference between our style and the Spanish. They like to keep the ball a lot and play possession-based football, which I like a lot," he said.

Play every game

Not many might know that prior to Nemil's love story with football, he was selected for his state's badminton team! While his shuttling activities have been relegated to a pastime hobby, he now wants to play every game in the ISL.

"My target is to play every game and get more minutes, but that's up to the coach. I'm going to give my best, and then we'll see," he signed off with a smile.

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