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Rajiv A. Narasipur is a 14-year-old footballer from Vidya Mandir School, Mylapore, Chennai. Rajiv grew up supporting none other than Barcelona. He is someone who loves Messi with a passion, admirer of his dribbling and free kick taking abilities, though in total contrast to his position as a midfielder. Starting from a very young age the lad, loaded full with fervor is all set to kick the ball rolling into a bright future.
Tell us a little bit about your background. And how you developed a passion for football?
I come from a Kannada- speaking family, but I was born and brought up in Chennai. At a very young age I was interested in cricket. Then when I came to Class 1, I realized that football was my passion and I started taking active interest in following and playing football. The first time I played football was at the age of 6 years in a park next to my grandma’s place.
Did you play a lot of other sports growing up and did you excel at any others? And when did you begin to really specialise in football?
I actually used to play a number of sports when I was young. Some of them were cricket, football, kabaddi, chess and badminton. I used to play chess when I was 5 years old but after that I realized that my main interest was football. At 8 years of age I started getting formal football coaching in my school.
What can you tell us about your playing style - what kind of footballer are you?
I play in the central midfield position. Initially I wanted to be a striker, but my coach David sir advised me to try out midfield and ever since it has been my position. My style of football is more of attacking and I like to consider myself as a goal scoring midfielder.
Is there any player, in particular, growing up that you looked up to and inspired you with your playing style and if so why?
Ever since I started following football, Lionel Messi has been my idol. I really admire his dribbling and free kick taking abilities, though it is in total contrast to my position as a midfielder.
Rajiv awarded the 'Best player' P M Radhakrishnan Memorial football tournament...Standing with his coach David Sir.
How did your football career shaped in your school, what the sport has taught you at the time?
I think the important things I’ve learnt from football is that there is always room for improvement and how to face defeat.
What’s that best match you have ever played? And it was against which team?
The best match I have played is against the SBOA U-13s in the Asan Memorial’s 5’s football tournament. I ended up scoring 5 goals, one of which was a free kick.
Competing at such a young age, how did you juggle studies with sport?
Honestly I do not know…I guess few things just work themselves out sometimes.
What’s something you want to add to your game or get better at?
I think I need to work hard and practice my shooting skills.
What do you do besides play football?
I am part of the trekkers’ club in our school so I enjoy the outdoor treks that we go on thrice a year. I also enjoy taking part in extra curricular activities like quizzes and drama. In my spare time I love to play football, kabaddi, and badminton.
If you could go pro at any other sport than football what would it be?
I would like to be a professional badminton player.
Do you have a special routine or superstition before you play a big game?
I actually do…I always walk on to the pitch with my right foot first and I have a set of 6 prayers that I say before every match.
What are your current goals?
My dream is to represent India in the World Cup and to play domestic football for the best clubs in the world.
What is your happiest playing moment/proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was when I won the Best Player award in the P.M.Radhakrishnan Memorial Football Tournament in the U-14 category
Quick Fire Quiz
Current book you’re reading? Not reading any book at the moment as exams are going on.
Top tracks you listen to? Psycho by Post Malone and of course Marana Mass by Anirudh Ravichander
Food craving? Always Pizza
Which football team do you support? FC BARCELONA
Favourite movie and or TV show of 2018/19? Avengers Infinity War
What would your all-time favourite XI line-up be? My all-time favorite XI would be: Goal Keeper - Iker Casillas Defense - Phillip Lahm, Virgil Van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Roberto Carlos Midfield - Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric Attack - Lionel Messi, Ronaldo Nazario, Ronaldhino Gaucho
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