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Pranotosh, an Abahani loyalist in a fickle football world

  • Published at 06:35 pm February 23rd, 2018
Pranotosh, an Abahani loyalist in a fickle football world
Abahani Limited last month confirmed their sixth title in 10 Bangladesh Premier League editions and the driving force behind their latest success is none other than the long-serving, versatile footballer Pranotosh Kumar Das. The 36-year old Pranotosh, who also feels comfortable playing at the heart of the defence, put in commendable displays in front of the defensive backline while he was also an attacking threat, thanks to his defence-splitting passes. But what makes Pranotosh stand out from the rest of the title-winning squad is the fact that he has virtually spent almost his entire career with the Sky Blues, a rare scenario indeed in modern day football where money more often than not becomes the determining factor behind many a player's decision making. That's what makes footballers like Pranotosh a rare breed these days. Pranotosh has followed a similar path to that of Ryan Giggs and Francesco Totti, who despite promises of pastures new stayed put at Manchester United and AS Roma respectively. The legendary footballing duo did not live to regret their decision as they left indelible marks in the hearts of the supporters. It is no different for Pranotosh, who happens to be a cult hero among the Abahani fans. Pranotosh's love affair with Abahani is so deep that even when he visits his hometown in Khulna to take a breather from the rigours of professional football, his heart is left behind at the Abahani building in Dhanmondi. “Abahani is like my home away from home. Every time I visit Khulna for holidays, I think of the day I will return to the club. Abahani have become a part of me,” said Pranotosh to Dhaka Tribune during an exclusive interview. The hard-working midfielder is the only member of the current Abahani squad who has been a part of each of the six title-winning campaigns. Pranotosh counts himself lucky to have achieved such a unique feat. “Many players spend their whole life wishing for a premier league trophy but very few manage to achieve it. I consider myself lucky to have won six titles, and that too for my favourite club. Every trophy was important to me, especially the hat-trick of titles a few years ago,” Pranotosh explained. Pranotosh, who lists United, Barcelona and Argentina as his favourite teams, spent his youthful football days at Malibagh, Arambagh Krira Sangha and Badda Jagoroni but it is really at Abahani where his career excelled. He also played one season for Brothers Union. There were many footballers in Abahani's history who were perhaps more gifted or talented than Pranotosh but faded away in the fag end of their career. The Khulna lad however, has stood the test of time. “Talent gets you nowhere without hard work. I'd like to think I'm hard-working. I always had the tendency to work hard, to sprint, to run from box to box. I love to fight for the ball. I don't know if I'm talented but I'm definitely hard-working,” said Pranotosh. Pranotosh's early days however, was not spent contemplating a career in football. “My dad wanted me to concentrate on my studies. For a long time he did not want me to become a footballer. Initially, I myself did not envisage becoming a footballer, even though I loved to play the game. That's when my cousin Bishnu Das stepped in,” said Pranotosh. “Bishnu said I should think seriously about pursuing a career in football. It is largely down to his endeavours that I decided to come to Dhaka. I haven't looked back since. I cherish those memories. Sadly, Bishnu passed away five months ago.” Like everyone else however, age has also caught up with Pranotosh. And following a long and distinguished career, former Bangladesh midfielder Pranotosh is eyeing one more season at the top before he finally hangs up his boots. Family-time calling, as one would say. In that regard, the Abahani fans should treasure the upcoming season for it is likely to be quite a while before they unearth another loyal and long-serving footballer like Pranotosh. Name: Pranotosh Kumar Das Born: January 7, 1982 (Age 36) Hometown: Bagerhat, Khulna Family: Wife, son, mother, two brothers, two sisters Playing position: Central defensive midfielder, central midfielder, defender   Major clubs Malibagh 1996-97 Arambagh Krira Sangha 1997-00 Badda Jagoroni 2000-02 Abahani Limited 2002-04, 2005-Current Brothers Union 2004-05   International appearances: 14 International goal: 1 International debut: Merdeka Cup in Malaysia, 2008 Last international match: Against Maldives, 2016
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