Beyond the Goal – The Official Biography of Baichung Bhutia by Mohammad Amin-Ul Islam

Foreword by Sachin Tendulkar

Published by Random House India on 11th August 2014, Rs 299 paperback

Baichung Bhutia – the Sikkimese Sniper – has been the iconic face of Indian football for over a decade.  One of the best players the country has produced in recent years, he serves as a benchmark for excellence in the sport not only in India but also in Asia.  But his career has not been without controversy and its ups and downs, and Beyond the Goal tracks the good, the bad and the ugly of football in India by retracing Baichung’s own career.

He is dubbed as the Sikkimese Sniper for his amazing shot accuracy—has been winning young and old hearts alike with his rare skill and boyish charm since 1993. He serves as a benchmark not only for Indian football, but also for Asian football, and was one of the best players in the region for over a decade. In fact, even today, he remains the only iconic face of Indian football to the outside world.

Baichung’s career has not been without controversy and Beyond the Goal delves into the footballers relationships with his coaches, the clubs he played with, and his much debated retirement.  Amin takes us through the good, the bad, and the ugly of football in India by doggedly retracing Baichung’s own highs and lows.

Featuring never-before-seen photographs and including accounts of Baichung by fellow athletes Mary Kom and Sunil Chhetri, Beyond the Goal is the story of India’s footballing icon.

Born in Tinkitam, Sikkim, Baichung Bhutia is India’s most capped footballer.  Beginning his career at the East Bengal Club, he went on to become the first Indian player to sign for a European club when he joined Bury FC in 1999.  Bhutia, who has a football stadium named after him in honour of his contribution to Indian football (the first player to have such honour while he is still playing), has also won many awards including the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.

In October 2010, he founded Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in Delhi and in August 2011, Bhutia announced his retirement from international football. His farewell match was with the India national team on 10 January 2012 against Bayern Munich at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi

Amin has worked at various publications, namely Amrita Bazar Patrika, The Asian Age, The Pioneer, The Indian Express, Sahara TV, Zee Sports and, most recently, The Times of India in Delhi, where he served as Special Correspondent for six years before moving to Qatar.  Now based in Doha, he focuses on interacting with the who’s who of World Football.

As a writer, his analysis of the game has gained him much appreciation from players, readers and critics, in India as well as abroad. He was the project editor of The World Cup 2002 which was published by The Indian Express. He writes his column as Footballwallah for Sportskeeda. He also shares his views and thoughts about the game, along with his expert analysis of the growth of Indian football on his blog, http://footballwallah.blogspot.com.

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