Striking it hard with Robin Singh
Meet and greet the young football SINGH sensation of India. He has never missed a penalty and wants a Maserati or a Lamborghini–or both maybe–in his backyard.
FHM: Hi Robin, how does it feel to have made a name in football in this cricket-crazy country?
Robin Singh: It feels absolutely amazing to make a name in a cricket-crazy country, but my journey has just begun. I am dedicated to become the best striker this country has ever seen and make a name for myself off the field too.
How did you take up football as a career?
Football is a family sport; my grandfather was also a footballer who represented India in the Helsinki Olympics. So, when it was time for me to make a choice between cricket or football, I chose football in the blink of an eye. It’s been quite a few years since you have been playing professional football.
How has the journey been?
I’ve been playing professional club football for almost five years now. The journey this far has helped me learn a lot. The start of my career with East Bengal to today playing at the best club in the country, Bengaluru FC, has taught me a lot in regards to professionalism and helped me streamline my dedication and love for the game.
How has the transition been from East Bengal to Bengaluru FC?
The transition from East Bengal was a pleasant surprise, to be honest. From playing for one of the most prestigious teams, I went to a newborn team in the I-league, which went on to become champions. I have loved every moment of the journey, so if you ask me today which club I would choose; I’d definitely say Bengaluru FC.
Where do you see Indian football in the next five years?
I see Indian football becoming a great power house in the Asian circuit and in India it might just overtake cricket.
Do you think we will ever qualify for the FIFA World Cup?
We are a country of 1.2 billion people; if we set our minds to it then we can definitely play in the World Cup without a doubt. However, for that to manifest this country will have to accept football as a leading sport in the country alongside others.
So, are you a typical Delhi boy? Full of anger and abuses?
Being a Delhi boy, I’ve lived away from Delhi for the past 13 years of my life. Hence, I have a bit of every state in me because football makes me travel and I get to see so much more that this country has to offer. But yes, my Delhi side does come out on the field sometimes, especially when I’m losing. I hate losing, I’m a very sore loser.
You know the other Delhi boys in sports are known to show their anger in celebration. How do you like to celebrate your goals?
Well, I don’t know which Delhi boys they are, I am very different when it comes to celebration. As a person off the field I’m a very easy going and I love to have a lot of fun. So most of the celebrations would involve my doing something funny or dancing; I love dancing.
As a child, did you always want to be a footballer?
As a child I always wanted to do something which did not involve my sitting in one place. I was a very hyper child and as the years went by my love for football grew tremendously as it helped me channelise my energies.
Who is your favourite footballer?
My favourite footballers are Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I love them both for their individuality off the field and how hard they work on the field. I see a bit of myself in both of them.
Do you think Indian players can play in the more physical and demanding EPL or the La Liga?
We definitely can with the right infrastructure, the right training and more likely at the right age. If there is one thing our country doesn’t lack, it is talent! Tell us about the wildest thing you have ever done. When I was younger I used to love racing cars. Back in the day, I was a part of a few street races, which I now look back and think wasn’t the smartest move. High speeds can be dangerous!