A month back, the name Chandan Nayak was anonymous, by now its synonymous with one of the world's top football club, Bayern Munich.
The 11-year-old boy, from Bhubaneswar’s slum Sabar Sahi, Chandan has been selected to train for two months, with the elite German club. He is among the top five Indian junior footballers who got the chance to train as an academy player. He will leave for his training in Germany tomorrow.
Read on to find more about the child prodigy.
Youngest son in a fractured family:
Chandan is the youngest son among four siblings, in a family that was abandoned by his father. His mother, Duhita Nayak, who works as a domestic help, is raising the entire family.
“He always insisted on playing football in the Kalinga stadium. As we stay in its vicinity, in last five years, most of his time was spent there,” Duhita said.
“I never thought in my life that any of my children will go overseas. For me, providing livelihood for them is in itself very difficult. I am extremely happy that Chandan was selected to train in Germany,” she added.
Even though Chandan did not have his father, he is happy with his passion for football. “For me, the world is my mother and the Kalinga Stadium football ground. I am very happy with my mother and football,” he said.
Messi is my hero: Chandan
Chandan’s hero in the world of football is Agrentina’s player Lionel Messi. “I always love to play in the forward position and love to wear jersey with Messi’s name. I will put all my efforts at Germany to improve my game,” said Chandan.
Spotted at a Football Talent Hunt
The child prodigy was spotted at a talent hunt, organized by a Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance company, to scout for skilled footballers among school students. Chandan shined among 1,000 other participants, who took part in the hunt in Bhubaneswar alone.
Chandan got selected for the final trial held at Pune, where 160 participants took part. From there, five finalists will proceed to Germany.
Poverty is not a hurdle: Chandan’s coach
“Capital High School student Chandan proved that poverty cannot be a hurdle to prove your talent. Chandan is one of the most disciplined and dedicated player I’ve trained,” said his coach JB Mohapatra.
We faced few hurdles regarding preparing the documents for the overseas tour but administration helped us out.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik also felicitated Chandan after reports about his selection became news. City Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena extended his wholehearted support and Chandan got the passport and birth certificate in time. He received his visa today.