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Young and rising stars of Indian football

Sunday, 1 June 2014 - 6:35am IST Updated: Saturday, 31 May 2014 - 10:31pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Arnab Mondal | 24 years
The modest centre-back started playing football when he was just eight. He joined Mohammedan SC of Kolkata at the age of 17 and spent three years before joining I-League team Prayag United in 2010. In the summer of 2012, Mondal signed for local rivals East Bengal, who he still plays for. Arnab played for the Indian national U-23 football team against Qatar U-23 in the 2012 Olympics Qualifiers. Coach Des Bulpin said this of Arnab, "Keep an eye on this guy. He is one who will supersede all". In 2013, Arnab scored the solo goal of the match in SAFF Cup semifinal match against Maldives to lift India to final.

Robin Singh | 24 years
With his breathtaking speed, he is poised to become the next Sunil Chhetri. After spending four years at Tata Football Academy, he spent almost a year in both United Arab Emirates and England. Singh signed for East Bengal FC after being scouted by them during a match. After spending three seasons with East Bengal, Singh signed for Bengaluru FC. Singh has represented India at the U-16, U-23 and senior levels. He made his senior debut for India on August 25, 2012 during the 2012 Nehru Cup against Maldives. So far, he has scored just one goal for the national team.

Jerry Lalrinzuala | 17 years
For his tender age of 17, Jerry is probably one of the best left backs India has. He hails from Calcutta and is a product of the AIFF regional academy. On July 30 last year which also happens to be his birthday, Lalrinzuala took a powerful left-footed 35-yard strike to help India beat Nepal 1-0 and lift the South Asian Football Federation U-16 Championships title in Kathmandu.

Jeje Lalpekhlua | 23 years
Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua currently plays for Dempo FC, and has been quite successful with the national team. He scored the only goal in a win against Afghanistan in the SAFF Cup group stage match in Bangladesh. He led the Indian U-19 team to South Asian games in Sri Lanka. In the last group stage match, he scored a hat-trick against Pakistan in a 5-1 win. He also scored four goals in his first three senior appearances for the Indian national football team.

Bidyananda Singh | 16 years
Bidyananda Singh is an eccentric midfielder, much like his favourite player Neymar. Recently he was among the four players from the AIFF camp to be selected for the Nike-initiated Asia's 50 best to receive training by the coaches at Manchester United, Inter Milan and Barcelona. Sources say that Italian giants Inter Milan have shown keen interest in signing the youngster.

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