Bhubaneswar slum to Bayern Munich field: 11-yr old Chandan’s incredible journey

Bhubaneswar: It is the kind of stuff fairy tales are made of Chandan Nayak, an 11-year old football player of the Sabar Sahi slum in the city, has been selected to train at Bayern Munich, the iconic football club in Germany, as an academy player.

Interestingly, Chandan is unaware that the club that he is going to play for is the second most sought after football club of Europe that boasts of world famous players like Andreas Möller, Arjen Robben, Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry and Jérôme Agyenim Boateng. Bayren Munich has won the DFB-Pokal cup and also emerged champion in Bundesliga (Germany) competition.

A great fan of Lionel Messi, Chandan loves the No 10 Argentinian jersey made famous by the Barcelona superstar. A master in passing and dribbling, Chandan aims to bring accolades for the State. “I hope to perform better there and would bring honour for our state, Chandan told OTV today.

“I had gone to Pune competition after being selected in Bajaj Allianz tournament. I was selected there to go to Germany,” he said.

His coach Jayadev Mohapatra is on Cloud Nine after this stupendous achievement by his ward. “It is a matter of pride that Chandan has been selected to play for Bayern Munich. He was the youngest, only 11-year old, among others who had come to the all India level competition. Coming from a poor background, his journey to abroad is really a proud movement for the state,” Mohapatra said.

All fellow players, masters and seniors have celebrated the achievement of the boy wonder while Chandan’s mother Duhita Nayak, who raised him by working as a maid servant, believes it is her prayers that have taken her son where he has reached.

Curiously, even as she wishes Chandan would bring laurels for the state, she keeps praying for her son’s ‘safe return’.

“I want my son to bring accolades for the State. But he should return to me safely. Initially, I was reluctant to allow him to go out. But all his trainers and well wishers persuaded me to relent,” she said.