GUWAHATI, Sept 8: Having recently signed for Spanish club CD Olimpic de Xativa, Assam lad Kabir Nath is in no mood to leave any stones unturned in his quest to play in the La Liga one day.
Kabir has been playing in Spain for the past four years and had scored five goals in six matches while playing for Club Cambrils CF last season which emerged champions in the Liga Primera Juvenil. He is also the first Indian football player to have scored a hat-trick in Spain.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Kabir not only looks back at his journey so far but also talks about his immediate goals as well as Indian football.
Asked regarding the recent contract sign-up, Kabir said: �I felt very proud to be the first Indian to sign the contract with the Tercera Division club in Spain � CD Olimpic de Xativa. It�s a huge jump for me at my age and I am very happy to make my country proud. I will be playing in the Spanish National League now.�
Originally hailing from Assam, Kabir�s parents � Dr Kalpajeet Nath, is a senior consultant physician, who was born and brought up in Digboi while his mother, Dr Geeta Baruah Nath is from Sarbaibandha, Jorhat and is the head of Gynaecology in Artemis Hospital, Gurugram and are settled in Gurugram (Delhi NCR).
He believes playing for FCBEscola India at one of the most iconic stadiums in the world � Camp Nou in Barcelona was the turning point in his career.
�In 2014, I went to play FCBEscola U14 in Camp Nou, Barcelona representing FCBEscola India. I believe that was the turning point in my life. My performance was exceptional with seven goals in seven matches and became the top scorer which was noticed by academies in Spain.
�And before I could realise I was in Spain, I started training in Kaptiva Sports Academy in 2015. So my football journey in Spain started at the age of 14 and these four years have been very tough. Lots of challenges and I had to face ups and down, competing with footballers from all over the world who had exposure to all facilities from childhood. I kept working hard, believed in myself and never deviated for a moment from my focus and goal of becoming a professional player.�
He started his football journey at the age of six in Heritage School Soccer League and was the highest scorer with 23 goals without any formal training. He represented Haryana at various age group National tournaments organised by the AIFF.
�I was very fortunate to train under the able guidance of Brazilian coach Val de cir de Freitas in my childhood in Gurugram and extremely dedicated coach Yuriy at Technifutball Academy Futball Salou in Spain for last 3 years. Also I am very excited to be able to train under coach Abel Buades in CD Olimpic de Xativa, who is a former La Liga player and scored against Real Madrid.�
Kabir, who plays as a forward also became the first Indian to score a hat-trick on Spanish soil. He played and trained with the India U-17 World Cup squad in Germany (Bitburg, Frankfurt) for one and a half months before getting sidelined due to injury ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in India.
After four years of extreme hard work, he seems to be rewarded this season when he got a call for preseason selection trial of the senior men�s first team of CD Olimpic de Xativa. The club was established way back in 1932.
�I was part of the champion team (Cambrils CF) in Liga Primera Juvenil and also scored a hat-trick. I felt very good and even better when I got the call for selection trial for the senior men�s first team of CD Olimpic de Xativa.
�After a 3-week-long rigorous trial, my joy knew no bounds as I made it to the Senior Men�s First Team (A) and became the first Assamese and Indian to reach Tercera level of football in Spain. I am grateful to God and family for supporting me throughout my difficult journey in Spain to fulfil my dreams.�
Despite all the glitz and glamour surrounding the Indian Super League (ISL), Kabir has no plans as of now to shift focus away from Spain. Asked whether he would be interested if an offer comes in from an ISL franchise, Kabir said: �At the moment I would like to continue working hard to reach my goal of playing in La Liga and finally at some point I would like to play for my country and see the Indian flag flying high globally.
�I am very proud to be originally from Assam, though I grew up in Delhi NCR. I have played with some very good footballers from Northeast and I feel football is in our genes.�