Five Things to Know About India's Young Goalkeeping Sensation Dheeraj Singh

Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has been the name on every Indian football fan's lips since last year's FIFA Under-17 World Cup held in India, with the young goalkeeper getting rave reviews for his terrific displays in the three group games.

India lost all three matches but Dheeraj's performances were enough for many to take notice, with the youngster currently trianing with Scottish club Motherwell. Other internationally renowned clubs have also shown their interest in the 17 year old.

Here, we take a look at five things to know about India's biggest football prospect at the moment.

5. He started as a badminton player

Unlike many top footballers, Dheeraj did not begin to play football from an early age and was very keen on badminton till he was around 11. Only after that, the former Indian Arrows star decided to take up football as his sport. Safe to say, that has proven to be a great decision as he steps on to foreign shores.

4. His grandmother set him on his way

Not everyone in Dheeraj's family supported his passion towards becoming a professional footballer and the Manipuri was unable to play with proper boots. However, his grandmother came to the rescue, beginning what has been a encouraging career so far.

In an interview, Dheeraj said, "I am her favourite grandchild and very close to her. One day I was playing in the courtyard barefoot and thought that I needed football shoes. My mother said she would rather spend on more important things. So I went to my grandmother, and she bought me my first pair of football shoes."


3. Spanish clubs were scouting him before

Dheeraj quickly developed into a promising goalkeepers and such were his displays that there were some clubs from Spain who were interested in signing the goalkeeper. 

However, the AIFF brass decided that the best path for Dheeraj would be to stay with their academy and not to move abroad at such a young age, a decision that has proven to be right now.

2. He quit Indian Arrows last year

After his terrific displays in the World Cup, Dheeraj was set to star for the newly formed Indian Arrows side in the I- League. The team, coached by Indian Under-17 coach Luis de Matos, are made up the most promising youngsters in India.

However, Dheeraj decided not to extend his stay at the club in order to pursue trials abroad, going against the wishes of de Matos who has claimed that Dheeraj is not ready to play in Europe.

1. European trials

Dheeraj is currently undergoing a trial at Motherwell FC, who lie sixth in the Scottish league. The youngster will be hoping to impress as usual and earn a contract with the former league champions.

The goalkeeper has also been linked with Premier League sides Manchester United and West Ham who were also looking to give him a trial. It remains to be seen where his promising career next takes him in the coming months.