Rakesh Oram, a 19-year old football player from Odisha made his debut for Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday evening.
Rakesh Oram’s emergence is a testament to the incredible progress that Odisha have made in the sport, despite having little legacy to boast of. Till date, only two footballers from the state have represented India in international matches.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is a men’s professional football league in India. It was founded in 2013 in an effort to make football a top sport in India and to increase the level of Indian football worldwide.
Rakesh Kumar Oram, a winger, was part of the Under-19 India team and had toured Japan, Thailand and Malaysia, where he took part in a host of tournaments.
Rakesh hails from Chituapara in Jharsuguda district and his younger brother is a member of the Under-14 Odisha team. His father Gopal Oram works as a supervisor in a beedi company. “He has always encouraged me to take up the sport,” said Rakesh, who idolises Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 2016 Indian Super League season is the third season of the football league, since its foundation in 2013. The season features eight teams again, each playing 14 matches during the regular season before culminating with the finals.
Earlier the Odisha United Football Clubs felicitated the young talent from the state and wished him good luck for his endeavour in the professional football league.
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