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Baichung Bhutia

Baichung BhutiaBaichung Bhutia was born on December 15, 1976, Tinkitam, Sikkim. His playing position in the team is of Striker .

Achievements

  • First Indian to play professional football in England;
  • Led the national football team to title triumph at the LG Cup in Vietnam in 2002;
  • Led East Bengal club to LG Asean Club Cup football championship victory in Jakarta in 2003.

No other Indian footballer has reached such dizzying levels of fame and stardom as has Baichung Bhutia-the poster boy of Indian football. Ever since he burst into the national scene as a prodigious talent, Baichung has taken Indian football to new heights.

Baichung came into national reckoning by dint of a sterling performance in the 1992 Subroto Cup school tournament. In 1993, at the age of sixteen, he joined the Calcutta city giants East Bengal Club.

In 1999, Bhutia became the first Indian to play professional football in England when he joined the English second division side FC Bury. In 2002, Baichung led the national football team to a rare title triumph at the LG Cup in Vietnam.

Off the field, Bhutia is known for winning the reality television programme Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, which caused much controversy with his then-club Mohun Bagan, and for being the first Indian athlete to boycott the Olympic torch relay in support of the Tibetan independence movement. Bhutia, who has a football stadium named after him in honour of his contribution to Indian football, has also won many awards such as the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.

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