Slums To Stardom! Bhubaneswar Siblings Are Now U-15 Indian Football Stars

Bhubaneswar: When there is an impulse to soar high, obstacles tend to vanish and make way for success. When siblings Ranjan Soren and Sunil Soren, residents of Saliasahi slums of Bhubaneswar, dreamt of becoming football players, little did they know that one day they will represent India in the Under-15 Football team.

Despite facing financial constraints, the Soren brothers crossed all hurdles to play football at international level. Ranjan, after finishing his training at Baichung Bhutia soccer school became a part of the I-league and now he is a permanent member of the Indian team.

Defender Ranjan played an instrumental role in helping India to emerge as champion after beating Nepal 7-0 in the SAFF U-15 football championship, that concluded yesterday in Kolkata.

Younger brother Sunil, who plays as defender for the Minerva Punjab Football Club, is also part of the I-league.

But the one person who can be credited for the success of these brothers is coach Jaydev Mohapatra, who didn’t think twice before spending his personal savings to train them.

“Nearly 4 to 5 years back, they had come to me and their football coaching had started when they were just 8 to 9 years old. At the age of 13 years, both of them were selected for I league. I am proud of them,” said Mohapatra.

“I am very happy that they have been selected in the Indian football team and are doing very well,” said Ram Chandra Soren, father of Soren siblings.