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 Coach Shabbir Ali - shaping the fortunes of Mahindras United 

Shabbir AliFormer India striker Shabbir Ali, who won the hearts of millions of soccer lovers in the country with his aptitude and skill as a player, is reckoned as one of the best soccer coaches in the country today. Shabbir was the technical director of the Indian team in 1995-96. In addtion to various courses on coaching in both India and Germany, Shabbir also got valuable guidance on coaching from Rustam Akramov of Uzbekistan, who was the coach of the Indian team in 1996. He has also helped different clubs like Mohammedan Sporting, Rajasthan Club, and Peerless Sports Club to scale greater heights of glory.

Shabbir added another feather to his cap when he guided Salgaocar to victory in the National Football League championships in 1999. At present, Shabbir is busy imparting his jewels of wisdom to the topnotch Mumbai outfit Mahindras United. Under his esteemed guidance Mahindras became the Larwood League Champions this year.

As a coach, Shabbir derives inspiration from his wealth of experience as a top notch striker who represented the Indian youth team which won the Asian gold medal in 1974. Shabbbir led the Indian team in the junior category at the Asian games. He also captained India in the Asia Cup, Nehru Cup, Merdeka Cup, Kings Cup and in other international tournaments held in North Korea and China from the year 1972 to 1982.

Shabbir has the courage of his conviction which enables him to take brave and bold decisions. As a youngster, Shabbir was adamant even though his family did not approve of his decision to take up football as a career. He honed his skills with Abbas Union football club, Hyderabad Arsenal Club and Andhra Pradesh Special Police, before representing Tata Sports Club of Mumbai and other top football clubs of Calcutta.

At present, Shabbir has a tough job on hand. Mahindras kicked off their campaign in the National Football League in a rather unconvincing fashion. Like the previous year, they lost their lung-openor against Air-India 1-2, and managed to hold their own, settling for a 1-1 draw against JCT. Shabbir is aware that Mahindras will have to navigate through potentially explosive encounters against teams like Mohan Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers and Salgoacar. However, Shabbir is made of sterner stuff and is confident of guiding his team to victory in the National Football League.

By : Wasim Siddiqui





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