Syed Rahim Nabi chosen as the 'Footballer of the Year' 2012
Syed Rahim Nabi, an ex-cadet of the coveted Tata Football Academy has been conferred with the ‘Footballer of the Year’ 2012 award by the All India Football Federation. The award was announced yesterday by Mr. Praful Patel, President, AIFF.
Syed Rahim Nabi becomes the fourth Ex-Tata Football Academy cadet to win the award. Earlier, Deepak Mondal (a cadet of the 1998 batch) had won it in 2002, followed by Subrata Paul (a cadet of 2004 batch) in 2009, and M. Gouramangi Singh (a cadet of 2004 batch) in 2010.
A product of the fifth batch (2002) of Tata Football Academy, Nabi is easily the most versatile player in the current senior setup of the Indian team. He started his career playing as a striker, then moved to midfield and then played as wingback as well. In recent international friendlies, he has been playing as a fullback but his ability to play in almost every outfield position, will always make him a very useful player to have in the squad.
Nabi’s club career started with Mohammedan Sporting but his career really took off after joining East Bengal in 2004. Except the I-League, Nabi has won almost every domestic trophy with the red and gold brigade. At East Bengal too, he has played in several positions and after spending seven years, Nabi became a real favourite among the East Bengal fans. With his football skills & sharp sense of utility on the field, he has proved to be a star of Kolkata derby.
He has been a member of the Indian team in tournaments like the SAFF Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers, and World Cup qualifiers and was also part of the squad that won two Nehru Cups and 2008 AFC Challenge Cup under Bob Houghton. It took him a while to get starts during the Englishman’s tenure, but in this year’s international friendlies, he started in a few games at left back.