In a real boost to Indian football, 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup member Sanjeev Stalin has joined the development team of Portuguese club Desportivo das Aves on a two-year contract, joining the list of a small number of the country’s footballers plying their trade abroad. Also Read - Diego Maradona Case a 'Trial by Media', Says Defence Lawyer
Clube Desportivo das Aves (popularly known as CD Aves) is a club based in Vila das Aves, an industrial town in northern Portugal. The club has played three seasons in Primeira Liga, the top league of Portugal from 2017-18 to 2019-20 (last season). It finished at the bottom (14th) last season and relegated to LigaPro or the second division of the Portugal league system. Also Read - Chinese Envoy Ensures Support To India As Sonu Sood Accuses China of Blocking Oxygen Concentrators Order
Stalin, who played for Indian Arrows in the I-League after the U-17 World Cup in 2017, announced the singing on social media. He put up a picture of him holding number 5 jersey of CD Aves along with some officials with caption: ‘New Signing for CD Aves’. Also Read - Nepal Shuts 22 Border Points With India Amid COVID Surge, 13 Other Entry Points To Remain Open
The Indian team head coach for the U-17 World Cup, Luis Norton de Matos, congratulated Stalin on Instagram.
“Congratulations my dear Sanjeev!! You signed a contract with a professional team from the Portuguese Premier League!! You have fulfilled your dream of playing in European football. You deserve. Looking back on the time we spent together on a extraordinary adventure that was playing the U17 World Cup in your beautiful country,” wrote the Portuguese coach.
“It was a pleasure to coach you and see your football growth that made you the best left full-back of U-19 in Indian football. Continue with your inner strength, with your courage and your dedication to work and will see that you will be rewarded. Keep your smile. I wish the best success.”
Stalin, the left-back from Karnataka is best remembered for taking the corner-kick which resulted to India’s only goal at the U-17 World Cup with Jeakson Singh scoring with a header against Colombia at JLN Stadium.