Indian football team goalkeeper Subrata Paul says being conferred with the Arjuna Award will be an added motivation.
Paul was named as a winner of the prestigious award. Paul, who has been nicknamed the ‘Spiderman’ for his acrobatic saves during the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, has represented India for over a decade. Besides, he has also captained the team in several matches.
Paul said that the award will “motivate” him to do better.
“The Arjuna Award is one of the highest Awards for sportspersons in our Country. Over the years the best in their respective fields have been conferred with the Award. A sportsperson never plays to get any Award. But when your achievements get recognized, it is an added motivation to do better,” he stated.
“I need to thank all my coaches, my teammates, AIFF, the football fraternity and my family who stood by me and supported me over all these years,” he added.
All India Football Federation President Praful Patel congratulated Paul on his achievement.
“Subrata has been exceptional with his football all these years. He has been a flag bearer for long. Congratulations,” he said in his message.
General Secretary Kushal Das mentioned that Paul has been an “inspiration for so many youngsters”.
“Subrata has been a top performer for India over the years. He is an icon and an inspiration to so many youngsters. He deserves it,” Das stated.
National coach Stephen Constantine couldn’t hide his delight.
“No one deserves the Arjuna Award more than Subrata. He has done so much for Indian football both on and off the field. I am very happy for him,” he said.
Over the years Paul has been a winning member of the AFC Challenge Cup, three editions of the Nehru Cup and the 2016 SAFF Suzuki Cup. He is the 24th footballer to have won the award, the last being Sunil Chhetri in 2011.