File image of Subrata Paul© AIFF
One of the greatest Indian goalkeepers Subrata Paul, 36, on Friday decided to call it quits, bringing curtains on a glittering career spanning 16 years. “Thank You Spiderman. Blue Tigers custodian hangs up his gloves today,” the All India Football Federation posted on X. Paul, who made his debut against Lebanon in the World Cup qualifiers in 2007, had 65 appearances for India.
He earned the sobriquet “Spiderman” for his heroics under the bar against heavyweights South Korea in the 2011 Asian Cup in Doha when India had qualified after a gap of 27 years.
Overall, Paul made more than 35 saves in the whole tournament and has become one of the stars of the team since.
South Korea had 20 shots on goal of which Paul saved 16 as India went down 1-4 in a valiant display.
Paul captained the Indian team under coach Stephen Constantine in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. Under him, India made the second round defeating Nepal on aggregate.
At the club level, he represented both the city’s Big Two — Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
Hailing from Sodepur in West Bengal, Paul is a graduate from Tata Football Academy, and started out from Mohun Bagan.
He was involved in a tragic incident when Dempo forward Cristiano Junior lost his life after a collision with the goalkeeper in the 2004 Federation Cup final.
Dempo won the match 2-0 but were left to mourn the death of Junior at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Paul also played for Danish Super League side FC Vestsjælland and became the fourth Indian footballer to play professional football abroad.
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