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Ex-India U-17 captain Deependra Negi dreams of joining Real Madrid or Barcelona

By Sujata Sarkar

Bengaluru, Feb 16: Deependra Negi is the first Indian footballer to play in Spain as a professional footballer thanks to a passionate Indian football lover, named Ravi Daswani.

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The Singapore-based lawyer has always been extremely fanatic on Indian football and he always tries to promote Indian football the youth level.

Deependra Negi

Deependra is an 18-year old footballer from Dehradun. He lives in a joint-family with his parents, uncles and grandmother.

Speaking over the phone from Barcelona where he lives now, Deependra lamented saying: “I still miss the delicious alu parata my grandmother used to make for me."

The midfielder is currently plying his trade at Segunda Division Spanish club CF Reus Deportiu. On his stint with the Spanish side, Deependra said: “I had to undergo two weeks' intense training before appearing for the trials. Then I was selected.

"But despite having received a professional contract I got my license to take part in Spanish league only two weeks ago. That is why I have been able to take part only in two League matches.

“Before playing his two league matches, Deependra had a memorable performance in a knockout tournament, named Cerdanya Cup which brought a lot of praise from his club coach and teammates."

The midfielder, a product of All India Football Federation (AIFF) elite academy in 2012 had already represented India in the SAFF championship in Nepal. He even participated in the AFC Cup qualifiers held in Kuwait.

Deependra's idolizes Zinedine Zidane and Phillipe Coutinho. He has a desire of watching Zidane's training from the stands.

But he has one lovable memory. He was able to talk to Gerard Pique and his girlfriend popular singer Shakira.

Deependra said: “On Sunday all these legendary footballers come to Barcelona with their children. The fans are also allowed to watch the training on that day. One day I watched Pique and Shakira standing in front and shook hands with them."

Deependra now has only one dream that someday he would want to join La Liga giants Barcelona or Real Madrid. He wants Indian football fans to feel proud of him one day.

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    Story first published: Thursday, February 16, 2017, 13:07 [IST]
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