Early Life of Subrata Pal
Subrata Pal was born on 24th November 1986 at the region of Sodepur in the state of West Bengal. From 2002 to 2004, he had been trained in the Tata Football Academy (TFA). It is here that his potential to be a great goalkeeper had been discovered.
Club Career of Subrata Pal
In the year 2004, after graduating from TFA, Subrata joined Mohun Bagan and established himself as a first team regular there despite being only 18. He was a regular member of India’s age-group team right from Under-16 to Under-20 level. He spent 3 seasons with the Mohun Bagan club and in the process also impressed the India Under-23 side.
However, on 5th December, 2004, there was an incident where Subrata was involved in a collision with Christiano Junior, forward of Dempo, leading to the death of the latter. This incident highlighted the severe lack of medical facilities during the game and thus significant changes were made in the I-League.
After his contract with Mohun Bagan ended in 2007, Subrata had signed a deal with their local rivals East Bengal, with whom he had made 31 appearances. Subrata was adjudged the I-League's best goalkeeper in 2007 for his outstanding shot- stopping abilities, an example of which was in East Bengal's Federation Cup winning campaign of 2007, resulting in his team qualifying for the AFC Cup 2008. Subrata’s most notable contribution was winning a penalty shootout against Myanmar in the preliminary round of the 2008 Olympic qualifiers.
From the 2009-10 seasons, Subrata joined the Pune FC and had made 40 appearances for them. He stayed there till 2012 and by May of that same year, Subrata had signed a contract with Prayag United. He made his debut for the club on 7th October 2012 against Air India at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, a match Prayag won 5-1.
In the year 2013, Pal was signed by Rangdajied United of the I-League. They agreed to sign Pal along with fellow IMG-Reliance contracted players Gouramangi Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Manandeep Singh, and Tomba Singh. Pal made his debut in the I-League on 22nd November 2013 against Shillong Lajong at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong where he played the whole match.
During the 2014 edition of the league, Subrata was drafted in by ISL club Mumbai City FC and was the first choice keeper for his team, appearing 14 times in the league format. Subrata's performance was notable but not enough to help his team into the semi-finals. In 2015, Subrata briefly played for Salgaocarand the following year in 2016, he played for DSK Shivajians.
International Career of Subrata Pal
Subrata’s consistency at club level and for the India youth sides earned him a call up to the Indian senior team. India’s head coach Bob Houghton made him the first-choice keeper during the 2007 Nehru Cup, where India won in New Delhi. In 2008, Subrata helped India win the AFC Challenge Cup and qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup.
In 2009, Subrata Pal became the first custodian to win the AIFF Player of the Year Award by making three crucial saves in the shootout. But in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar, India lost all three of their matches, but Subrata was praised by the international media for his excellent performances against some of the best teams in the continent like Australia, Bahrain and South Korea. His best display came in the 4-1 defeat against South Korea as he produced an incredible tally of 16 saves. After that match, the South Korean media gave him the nickname ‘Spiderman’.
India conceded 13 goals in 3 games but would have surely let in more had Subrata not been in goal. Later that year, Subrata captained India for the first time in the 1-1 draw with Turkmenistan in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.
The 2011-12 campaign proved to be a difficult season for Subrata as he suffered an injury while playing for Pune in the Federation Cup. He missed the majority of that season, including various international tournaments like the 2011 SAFF Championship and the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.
Despite heavy competition from Karanjit Singh and Sandip Nandy, Subrata remained India’s number one at international level. His performances saw India finish runners-up in the 2013 SAFF Championship in Nepal. He was named the captain of the Indian national football team by Coach Stephen Constantine. On 11th March 2015, under Subrata’s captaincy the team reached the second round after defeating Nepal on aggregate of 2-0 on the first round of qualification.
Subrata Pal in Foreign Leagues
While being on contract with IMG-Reliance, Subrata had a training-cum-trial stint at Denmark’s FC Vestsjaelland, a team playing in Denmark’s top tier, the ‘Danish Superliga’. Subrata returned to India to play for Shillong club Rangdajied United in the I-League, but was offered a 6 months contract by Vestsjaelland in November 2013. Subrata completed the loan move to Vestsjaelland from IMG-Reliance in January 2014 and became only the third Indian footballer since independence to play his trade abroad. Despite signing on as member of the squad, he did not make any appearance for the first team and only appeared with the reserve squad.
Personal Life of Subrata Pal
Subrata lives with his family in Sodepur, Kolkata. He got married in 2012 to Debasmita Mukherjee Paul, the daughter of ex-Indian goalkeeper Debashish Mukherjee. Debasmita is a Ph.D Scholar of Calcutta University.
National Statistics of Subrata Pal
Listed below is the national statistics of the Indian footballer Subrata Pal:
Awards and Accolades of Subrata Pal In 2015, Subrata Paul was nominated for the Times of India Sports Awards along with the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, Bala Devi and more.
Awards and Accolades of Subrata Pal
In 2015, Subrata Paul was nominated for the Times of India Sports Awardsalong with the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, Bala Devi and more.