Bengaluru, Dec 16: He is 41 years old, the oldest goalkeeper in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament. Even at this age, Sandip Nandy has been the frontrunner in receiving the golden gloves in the tournament.
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He has already received the golden gloves ribbon which he has been wearing on his arm in the team's last three matches.
Sunday's (December 18) ISL final between Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) and Kerala Blasters at Kochi is not only being hailed as the war between Sachin Tendulkar (co-owner of Kerala Blasters) and Sourav Ganguly (co-owner of ATK) but also called the battle between two men in form under the bars.
ATK custodian Debjit Majumder and Sandip of Kerala who guided his side to the final after making brilliant saves in the semi-final against Delhi Dynamos.
Another interesting part in this story is that Sandip has given Debjit goalkeeping tips several times during the ISL.
Sandip said on Thursday (December 15), "We talked over phone. Debjit asked me technical questions on goalkeeping several times during the League and I also never hesitated to reply him. When I was in East Bengal I used to train him also."
How does he produce such an excellent performance at this age? Sandip laughed off and said over phone from New Delhi, "If Leander Paes can keep himself fit at the age of 43 then why cannot I perform?"
The "Leander Paes of Indian football" has already earned applauds from football specialists for his brilliant saves in the tie-breaker in the semi-final against Delhi Dynamos.
But before the final Nandy does not want that at least for one evening in the final, his once student Debjit fails to deliver his best as he has been doing in the league so far.
Sandip said, "Debjit has been in tremendous form in the League. And I will not hesitate to comment that one of the key strengths in ATK is Debjit's consistent form. I wish he does not deliver the same performance in the final also."