Who is Syed Abdul Rahim, the man Ajay Devgn is playing in his next film?

first_imgThree days after a nail-biting win over South Vietnam in the semi-finals of the Asian Games, the Indian football team was ready to play the big match against South Korea on September 4, 1962 in Jakarta, Indonesia. But with two defenders seriously injured and the goalkeeper down with flu, a win against a strong South Korean team looked like a distant dream. However, Indian coach Syed Abdul Rahim was not a man to give up on his team so soon.Ignoring their injuries, Jarnail Singh, Trilok Singh and Peter Thangaraj made it to the line-up for the finals and put up a splendid game. Within the first 20 minutes, PK Banerjee and Jarnail Singh scored two goals, thus providing the Indian team with a crucial lead. By the time the Korean team could break through the Indian defence, India was on its way to victory. The 90-minute match finished with a 2-1 win for India. The team, as well as the crowd, were euphoric.That was the magic of Syed Abdul Rahim and his boys.And now, 56 years after that glorious win, producer Boney Kapoor and actor Ajay Devgn are collaborating to bring the story of the golden era of Indian football to the big screen. The yet-to-be-titled project will trace the journey of Syed Abdul Rahim, under whose leadership the Indian football team won the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962.National Award-winning actor Ajay Devgn is stepping into the shoes of Syed to tell the story of this unsung hero who was responsible for taking Indian football to new heights and winning accolades for the country.advertisementElated and proud to announce a story never told as @ZeeStudios_ #BoneyKapoor & @freshlimefilms come together for a biopic on Indias legendary #Football coach, Syed Abdul Rahim, starring @ajaydevgn, directed by @CinemaPuraDesi, screenplay by @SaiwynQ, and dialogues by @writish. pic.twitter.com/vzaLJya67xZee Studios (@ZeeStudios_) July 13, 2018″I was amazed that not many are aware of someone as significant as Syed Abdul Rahim. He’s an unsung hero whose achievements must be saluted. His team had heroes like Chunni Goswami, PK Banerjee, Balaram, Franco and Arun Ghosh. It takes someone like Ajay Devgn to play Syed Abdul Rahim. With him on board, I can just hope that our film inspires youngsters to play football, and India soon to bring the World Cup home,” Boney told a leading daily.Directed by Amit Sharma, the film is set to go on floors early next year. But before that, take a look at the life of the man who put the Indian football team on the world map.WHO IS SYED ABDUL RAHIM?Born in Hyderabad in 1909, Syed learnt his trade during his growing-up years, and soon became a prominent figure in the footballing circuit in the city. But his true genius came to the fore when he took over the Hyderabad City Police team in the 1940s. His team went on to dominate the local and national scene for a long time, and he was soon noticed by the Indian football team and was appointed the head coach in 1950.The very next year, Syed led the team to a gold win at Asian Games 1951, thus proving his mettle.Back in those days, the Indian team preferred playing barefoot, and boots were never considered a necessity. However, after a massive defeat at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 owing to the harsh cold, Syed hit back with a bang. It was the last time that the team played without boots. Syed emerged as a better coach after the last defeat and groomed his team to win several international tournaments in the next few consecutive years. But India’s performance at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics grabbed more eyeballs than ever. After a stunning victory over Australia in the quarter-finals, the team made its way to the semi-finals. Though India lost to Yugoslavia, it is still considered one of India’s biggest achievements in football.Six years after the Melbourne Olympics, Syed got the team together for the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. He was battling cancer at that time, but keeping his personal setbacks and players’ injuries aside, the coach guided his team towards the glorious win at the finals. His deteriorating health made him quit as the coach of Indian football team two months after the stellar victory.ALSO READ | Ajay Devgn to play football coach Syed Abdul Rahim in Boney Kapoor’s nextALSO WATCH: I can take on anybody with my little finger, says Ajay Devgnlast_img read more