Indian international Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made his league debut for Stabæk Fotball in a Norwegian Tippeligaen match against IK Start on Sunday, May 29 and he created history by becoming the first professional footballer born in India to play in a Top Tier league match in Europe.
The 24 year old Mohali-born goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in Stabæk’s important 5-0 away win at the Sparebanken Sør Arena. Ohi Omoijuanfo (33′), Giorgi Gorozia (41′), Moussa Njie (78′, 89′) and Birger Meling (87′) scored the goals for Stabæk.
Stabæk Fotball is currently placed 15th in the Norwegian Tippeligaen as the club try to avoid relegation following a weak start to their 2016 league campaign.
When I congratulated Gurpreet on his achievement, he told me, “It shows that I’m going the right way doing the right thing instead of quitting which I could have over the two years I have spent here waiting for this chance. Shows that the work pays off!”
A lot of people have doubted Gurpreet for going to Norway and spending time on the first-team bench, playing for the second team and training. But it has helped him develop overall, not only as a footballer but also a human being as he has become much more mature having left India as a young man.
Playing for Stabæk in the Norwegian league is a another milestone for Gurpreet, who now joins the Indian national team in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup playoff qualifiers against Laos on June 2 and June 7. And Gurpreet is set to play as India’s No. 1!
A big Congratulations from me once more!