Football

A dream come true for me: Mashoor

Mashoor Shereef  

Mashoor Shereef’s international debut lasted just two minutes. But those two minutes were the most cherished moments of Mashoor's career.

Mashoor had dreamt of donning the Indian jersey from a young age.

The Malappuram-born Mashoor came on as a substitute in the 88th minute in the international friendly against Oman.

“It was a dream come true for me. I never expected the coach to send me so late in the match and it took some time for me to realise that I had fulfilled my dream,” said Mashoor.

A few days later, Mashoor played his first full international match in the 0-6 loss to UAE.

Rude awakening

The heavy defeat was demoralising for the new look young Indian side and for Mashoor, it was a rude awakening.

“Considering how little time we got to prepare, I think overall it was a good performance from us. We did very well to hold Oman to a draw.

“But UAE was simply too good for us. Our coach completely changed the line-up and handed out international debuts to a few players. He told us not to worry about the result and just asked us to give our 100%.

High standards

“Personally for me the match against UAE was an eye-opener. I quickly realised that I still have a long way to go to reach international standards. I had played in the I-League and ISL and felt at home. But I struggled in my first international match as the standard was so high. I need to improve on my skills and fitness to play at the international level,”' said Mashoor.

The 28-year-old defender came into the Indian team after capping a fine ISL season. He was central to NorthEast United mid-season surge that saw the side enter the semifinals.

“I didn’t get many opportunities initially. But, when Khalid Jamil took over, he picked me in the starting eleven and gave me the freedom to express myself on the field. “I think I didn’t disappoint him and my consistent performance in ISL paved the way for my selection to the Indian team.”

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 1:54:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/a-dream-come-true-for-me-mashoor/article34291294.ece

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