The youngster cherished every moment he had spent in the Aspire Academy and also praised Qatar’s overall football infrastructure…
Odisha FC’s Shubham Sarangi was one of the young Indian players who stood out in the Indian Super League (ISL) last season. The youngster, who had joined Delhi Dynamos in 2017-18, was deployed as a right full-back by former coach Josep Gombau and the player impressed immediately.
The versatile footballer, after joining in 2017-18, was immediately sent to Qatar’s famous Aspire Academy for a four-month-long training stint.
Earlier that season, Dynamos had signed a strategic partnership with the Aspire Academy and as a result, Sarangi was sent for training at the academy’s state-of-the-art facilities.The short training stint has been beneficial for Sarangi who believes he came back as a much better player.
Sarangi was left in awe of the Aspire Academy’s infrastructure and coaching modules as he spoke about his brief stint there. “Aspire Academy is one of the best in the world. The facilities and the infrastructure is really good and world-class,” Sarangi told Goal.
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“When I was training there, the sessions were really helpful and we used to understand the game much better. We used to have technical sessions and they used to make us understand the basics of football to improve our game.
“All these things really helped me as a player. My former teammates from Aspire are all playing the AFC Champions League and for the Qatar national team. I am still in touch with them. I am also looking forward to playing against them. Aspire gave me a platform and it was a very good learning experience.”
The Odisha-based footballer was among the probables for the Indian team for the U-17 World Cup in 2017 but had failed to make the cut in Luis Norton De Matos’ final squad.
The 20-year-old further spoke about the amazing experience he had in Qatar and credited Aspire for their top-notch infrastructure which is one of the reasons behind Qatar’s improvement in stature as an Asian giant. It must be noted that Qatar won the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
“I would like to start with the Aspire academy. They have eight football grounds, one indoor pitch and that is what a budding footballer requires. The pitches are great. They pay attention to every small detail in order to improve the standard of the footballers.
“There is also a Khalifa stadium which is very close to the Aspire Academy. One of the World Cup semifinals will be held there. Qatar’s national team also plays a lot of matches there. All the stadiums there are brilliant. They are doing their best and that is why I think Qatar is so good at the moment and are one of the best teams in Asia,” said the Odisha full-back