'Rs 90 lakh! I didn't know I was worth so much'

Published: 15th July 2015 02:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2015 02:41 AM   |  A+A-


As the second edition of the Indian Super League domestic players’ auction wound up in Mumbai, it was only natural that India skipper Sunil Chhetri — going under the hammer for Rs 1.20 crore — emerged the biggest earner.

But what was unexpected was Kerala boy Rino Anto triggering a bidding war among half of the ISL franchises and subsequently getting sold for an incredible Rs 90 lakh — more than five times his base price of Rs 17.5 lakh.

“I didn’t know I had so much value,” the Thrissur lad told City Express, after he was sold to champions Atletico de Kolkata. “I certainly did not expect to go for this much money. Now I will have to repay Kolkata by playing as well as I can.”

At the outset, Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa were in pursuit of the Bengaluru FC defender, steadily pushing his price up by a margin of Rs 25,000.

The bidding war intensified as more determined Kolkata and Mumbai joined in the race a little later, raising his price by lakhs of rupees.

Finally, when he was sold for the highest amount in Pool B, Rino said: “I don’t know what I am going to do (with the money).”

Of course, that was when he was asked to react immediately after the bidding, on stage. Off it, several hours later, he unravelled his future plans with Express.

“I have got a manager. He will worry about the money. But that is all for later. First, I have to get home as early as possible, see my folks and then get back into training,” said the 27-year-old when he was still in Mumbai.

He was home on Monday, struggling to get acclimatised to his new-found celebrity status. “I think, a lot of things have changed now. I can’t take a few metres walk without stopping and talking to somebody several times.

My high school, the Government Model High School in Ollukkara, Thrissur, gave me a reception on Tuesday and I was told more are on their way,” Rino said.

He will fly to Bengaluru on July 20 and will be with his I-League club Bengaluru FC, for a month before flying to Spain for the three-month Kolkata camp.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Rino said.

Grown up watching the legendary I M Vijayan playing in flesh and blood, Rino always had football running through his veins. After a few local club appearances, he represented the under-16 state team during and got selected to the Tata Football Academy in 2004, just after he completed Plus Two.

After graduating from the academy four years later, he signed up with Mohun Bagan in 2008 and was loaned off to Salgaocar FC and played for the Goan club for around two and a half years.

He went back to Mohun Bagan in 2013, but immediately switched to Bengaluru FC. “Bengaluru FC is what made me who I am today — a player for whom a team was willing to shell out almost a crore,” said, Rino, who debuted for India this year in the World Cup qualifier against Oman.

The right-back has won I-League and the Federation Cup with Bengaluru FC.

Once, he had almost quit Football

lakh1.jpgAfter a few good outings with Mohun Bagan AC and Salgaocar SC, Rino Anto endured a relatively barren year in 2012, when he did not have an I-League club. Coupled with recurring injuries and pressure to find a stable job, Rino almost gave up football. Fortunately, Bengaluru FC happened the next year and everything changed


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp