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Teenager Uzair floors Bhutia

Thirteen-year-old Mumbai lad Uzair Ansari floored former India skipper Baichung Bhutia with his dazzling football skills during a friendly between juniors and a senior team led by Bhutia himself at the Priyadarshini Park, Napaen Sea Road yesterday.


Baichung Bhutia watches Uzair Ansari work the ball. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Uzair, whose school St Ignatius (Jacob Circle) was knocked out in the quarter-final of the inaugural edition of the Baichung Bhutia Championship Cup inter-school football event on Saturday, earned himself a one-year scholarship to train at the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools (BBFS) that is set to be launched in Mumbai next month.

Uzair managed to catch Bhutia's eye with his sheer fearlessness on the field. The defender who stands 4-feet tall also managed to score a brace in the 2-2 friendly, earning praise from Bhutia. "The tiny boy (Uzair) has huge potential. And I'm glad that I will be able to help him groom. This shows that there is no dearth of talent in India. We just need to spot them and groom them," Bhutia told MiD DAY.

Uzair is the first of 15 players to get one year scholarships to train with BBFS. The Madanpura lad was excited that he got to play against his hero but even more that he managed to dribble past him on one ocassion.

"Meeting him (Bhutia) was like a dream come true. It's a really big thing for me that I got the opportunity to play against him and I even dribbled past him once. The scholarship is like a bonus for me," said Uzair.

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