Chandan Nayak, a 11-year-old football player from the Sabar Sahi slum of Bhubaneshwar in Odisha has been selected to train at ‘Bayern Munich’ in Germany. It is an all-expenses-paid junior football camp in Munich, and Nayak will play in the fields of second most sought after football club in Europe as an academy player. Stuff dreams are made of? Most certainly!
For those of you who do not follow the sport, Bayern Munich is one of the most iconic football clubs located in Germany. This club boasts of training players like Andreas Möller, Arjen Robben, Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry and Jérôme Agyenim Boateng.
Chandan Nayak’s mother, Duhati Nayak, works as a house maid. With her meagre earnings she has been sending Chandan to the Capital High School, Bhubaneswar. Chandan, a student of Class 6, has always been passionate about football and his idol is the famous Lionel Messi, the Barcelona player from Argentina in the Number 10 jersey. Chandan Nayak will now head for Bayern Munich to work on his passion as an academy player.
Bayern Munich, Germany – The Club
Let’s learn a little about the club that Chandan Nayak is going to train in as an in-house player.
- Established in 1900, Football-Club Bayern Munich, also popularly known as FCB is located in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
- FCB is famous for its professional football team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system.
- With 26 national titles and 18 national cups, FCB is one of the most successful clubs in Germany, and second best in Europe.
- The club has also won other laurels including UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two Intercontinental Cups.
- The club has been at its peak since 1998.
- FCB stands second in both UEFA club coefficient ranking and IFFHS Club World Ranking.
- FC Bayern has five grass pitches, two of which boast under-soil heating. These are the pitches where the star of tomorrow, India’s very own Chandan Nayak is going to train.
The Power of the Dream
Chandan Nayak, like many kids his age, loves playing football; however, he does have an edge over most of them. He is not only passionate about the sport, but plays it at a highly skilled level . Soon after he took to the sport, he gained control of the ball and became a master at dribbling and passing.
Soon he started participating in matches, though he was not being allowed to participate at a all-India competition at Pune because of his average height. However, he managed to convince the coaches and participated. In his own words: “I had gone to Pune competition after being selected in the Bajaj Allianz tournament. I was selected there to go to Germany.”
Bajaj Allianz Life Junior Football Camp initiative began in 2010, when the club started visiting schools and clubs across the country, with the intent of finding budding stars in football and giving the young champs an opportunity to master their skills and mesmerise the football lovers across the world with them. The company literally scavenges the four corners of the country in search of the best of the best, and each year, selects 5 budding stars to be sent for an all-expenses-paid training at the Bayern Munich Football-Club in Germany. This year, Chandan is the youngest to be selected out of 12 who contended.
While the skilled lad is extremely excited about this prospect, he has absolutely no idea that the club he is going to train in is the second best in Europe and quite renowned in all the sporting circles. Chandan is extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity, “I hope to perform better there and would bring honour for our state.”
His coach Jayadev Mohapatra said, “It is a matter of pride that Chandan has been selected to play for Bayern Munich. He is the youngest, only 11-year old, among others who had come to the All-India level competition. Coming from a poor background, his journey abroad would really be a proud moment for the state.”
Everyone, including the fellow players, seniors and the other coaches are extremely happy for Chandan and are celebrating his achievement.
Chandan’s mother Duhita Nayak believes that her prayers have been answered and now her son will be able to live his dream. But like any other normal mother, she is praying for the safe return of her son after training. “I want my son to bring accolades for the state. But he should return to me safely. Initially, I was reluctant to allow him to go out. But all his trainers and well wishers persuaded me to relent,” she added.
Yes, this is what fairy tales are made of. We wish Chandan Nayak all the best for his training and hope he comes back as a leading football star and brings accolades not only to Odisha, but the entire nation.