After signing to play for Belgium’s Royal Antwerp FC, Varin Mehta is now the fourth Indian to feature in a foreign league . Mehta joins the exclusive list of Mohammad Salim, Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri. He has been offered a season-long contract after being on trail with the club for last one year.
His first big opportunity came when he became part of Mahindra United U-19 squad and played in the I-League U-19. But this success was short-lived as United club closed down and he started his struggle afresh. Varin’s family used their contracts very well to get intouch with the club president who finally offered him a trail.
Varin is yet to play for India and that is his ultimate dream. Meanwhile he wants to prove himself in Royal Anwerp FC and make a mark in European Football. He gradually wants to play for better clubs and finally in an EPL club. Definitely this 5’8” striker has to achieve a lot.
Before Varin, three Indian Footballers have played for foreign clubs. Barefooted Mohammad Salim played for Celtic in 1937. Foreign press called him the ‘Indian juggler’ and had praised his style of managing a ball. After years of drought, Sikkimese Sniper Bhaichung Bhutia signed up to play for the English club Bury F.C. in 1999 and became the first Indian footballer to play professional football in Europe. Later in 2010 Sunil Chhetri joined Kansas City Wizards.