A look back at India’s campaign in the FIFA U17 World Cup would reveal why Dheeraj Singh Noirangthem was regarded as the “find of the tournament” by former star footballer Bhaichung Bhatia. The 16-year old goalkeeper was excellent for India in all the three matches and displayed performance of his career against an experienced Colombian side. He received praises and accolades from several sportsmen including Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. In a tweet, Tendulkar wrote: “Great work by Dheeraj at the Goal Post! C’mon India… let’s win this one!”
After the World Cup, Dheeraj showed interest in trying out for international waters and also received trial offers from “several foreign clubs” including one of the top Scottish clubs Motherwell FC, as reported by Indian Express last month.
Now, it seems, Singh might be on his way to fulfill his dreams as he has quit his I-League club Indian Arrows. Dheeraj’s contract with AIFF ends on December 31 and the footballer has decided not to extend the deal till the end of the season.
Bidding farewell to his club, the goalkeeper wrote in an Instagram post: “Shared points against the mighty @mohunbaganac day before yesterday. This was my last match with the Arrows and a memorable day to finish off the year. Like always it’s been an honor to play alongside such a wonderful & talented bunch of boys in Indian Arrows.”
Dheeraj further expressed gratitude to his coaching staff for helping him in his career. “Finally, I would take this opportunity to thank my coach and the officials for giving me the opportunity and making me grow and mature as a footballer that I’m today. Cheers!”
The goalkeeper was the first choice goalkeeper for India Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos and also won the Man of the Match award in his last match for the club against Mohun Bagan which ended in 1-1 draw.