The teenager penned a 4-year contract with FC Goa earlier this month.
The 29th of October, 2020, saw Muhammed Nemil join FC Goa on a 4-year deal that will keep the 18-year-old in Goa till 2024. A part of the first badge of graduates from the Reliance Foundation Young Champs – the only academy to be given a five-star certification by the AIFF, a lot of eyes will be on the pupil coming out from the academy.
Here are 5 things you should know about him:
1. One Among Thousands
Hailing from Calicut in Kerala, Nemil fell in love with football at a very young age. Starting off on the streets of Calicut, the young Nemil joined Marian Malabar at the age of seven, joining his elder brother at the club.
After six months with the club, he began to play in a number of local tournaments in and around Calicut.
I would say that my first introduction to the game was very organic. Football in the
streets followed a number of local tournaments where we would play for prize
money. There was a game to play nearly every day. It was 3v3, 5v5 or 7v7, I didn’t
mind. I wanted to play it all.
I won a lot of tournaments and lost a few here and there. But it was all football for me growing up.
He then joined VP Sathyan Soccer School at the age of 11 before trials for the Reliance Football Young Champs came calling for trials.
I remember the day we were called for trials. There were hundreds of kids in the try-outs. There were two trials held at Calicut before another one at Thrissur. Only 3-4 players made the final cut and we were sent to Mumbai for the final round.
There were kids from all over the country, more than 200.
By the end of the trials, there were 24 selected to be the first badge of students of football at the RFYC. Nemil was one of them.
2. A Tough Decision
With the advent of the Indian Super League in 2014, Nemil’s eyes were soon glued to the TV screens every night. And he soon became a keen follower of the Kerala Blasters. However, despite offers from various different ISL clubs, including the Blasters, Nemil chose to become a Gaur.
Speaking on the same, the youngster said:
It was a very tough decision for me. Being from Kerala, to go to a club from another state was a tough decision to make. I listened carefully to not only the offer, but also the plans of the clubs.
However, with FC Goa, I totally felt at home – confident of their vision. I spent a few weeks last season, playing with the Developmental team, and the philosophy of the team coincides with the way I like to play football – to take the initiative in games and outwit the opponents with passing and movement.
Having spent some time in Spain as well, it has become easier to identify with the
club’s way of football. And I believe that I made the best decision.
3. Shining Bright
The last few years have seen Nemil shining bright. The teenager has earned praise and applause for his play in the midfield. And that appreciation has not been restricted to the news columns.
2018 saw Nemil being awarded the best midfielder in the Super Division of the Mumbai District Football Association league. The same year also saw him being recognized as the Player of The Tournament in the U17 Subroto Cup. Last season saw the teenager grab the Player of The Tournament award in the Vedanta Cup as well.
In addition to all this, Nemil has been a consistent presence in the RFYC teams battling it out in the Hero Elite and Hero Junior leagues. With him present in the middle of the pitch, they have come to be known as one of the strongest and most consistent teams in the competition.
4. Ronaldo or Messi?
Nemil is a player that has received much praise for his quickness of feet and decision-making skills. And he didn’t have to think much when this question was put forth.
Messi, Messi, and always Messi. He is the best player in the world. There are many great players in the world. I certainly admire Ronaldo and his achievements and success.
But for me, I will pick Messi every single day of the week.
5. European Dreams
Young Nemil’s dreams are quite lofty as he looks to make a mark in the world of football.
Growing up, falling in love with football, it was always Barcelona and Messi for me. And I dream of making it to Europe and playing at the highest level. And even the club has been very understanding of my visions and encourages me to do so.
Nemil was sent to Spain by RFYC last year to train in the High-Performance Academy at Marcet in Spain. The youngster further impressed at the academy and was even selected by UDA Gramenet. The youngster will spend this season out on loan, playing in the Juvenile Liga Nacional in Spain as a part of Gramenet’s U18 set-up.