With Bimal, Lets Dream

July 2, 2014 , by DREAMS, 1 Comment
With Bimal, Lets Dream » My Dreams Mag

Still struggling to make their mark in the South Asian region, Nepal is just an enthusiastic watcher of the colourful wigs, T-shirts, boas and regalia that are adding spice to the thrilling contests in the the football’s extravagant show in Brazil — the World Cup.

A distinct sense of belongingness strikes everyone when the national anthems are sung out loud in unison, enough to send the shivers down the spine. With modesty and pride, we forget the caste we belong to, the community that we came from and the ideologies we tend to follow. For that, World Cup is a perfect platform.

Hardly anyone is there to shrug off the patriotic feeling Nepalis went through after the country’s flag unfurled in the sky and the national anthem was played as Nepali cricketers performed in front of the globe in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Brazilian starlet Neymar was captured shedding tears when the Selecao lined up for the national anthem during their World Cup match against Mexico as the whole stadium at the Fortaleza turned yellow on June 17. It is of course an emotional feeling for every Brazilian to have a footballer from whom patriotism oozes and the whole world watches it.

What if Nepalis see their patriotism spilled at such big stage? What if the yellow colours of Brazil get photosynthesised to blue and red? What if Neymar was replaced by the country’s rising sensation Bimal Gharti Magar?

To a country like Nepal, mixing up with the glitzy colours of world football’s extravaganza is no doubt a far cry. SAFF Championship — a competition of the eight South Asian naions — has so far been the biggest tournament from where silverware could be expected for Nepal.

From a deafening noise at the Dasharath Stadium, Nepal’s bitter 1-0 loss to eventual winners Afghanistan in the semi-finals echoed when the country hosted the football fiesta of the region in the country last August.


At a point when global football is turning another page, Nepal is seemingly stuck in the bottom among the contents in the footballing chapters. Football is still the most popular sport in Nepal but without results the game is hardly going to pick among everyone.

But dreams will never detach from those who have high aspirations. Teen prodigy Bimal is the front runner among the group of emerging footballers of Nepal who has set himself a target of hitting big in the world football and his giant stride towards Europe could just be the beginning of a journey towards the sport’s summit.

For an ordinary eye, the fact that 16-year old Bimal currently spending times with the Youth setup of the Belgian top flight club FC Anderlecht could mean luxury. But he has not been an overnight star. In fact, the perseverance and dedication for the game has made him arguably the biggest name in Nepali football and that too at such a young age.

Bimal has impressed many eyes across the globe crossing the boundary from the South Asian region. He is tipped as the upcoming face of country’s football and is dubbed as a Nepali Neymar in several Belgian websites. Nepali football now depends a lot on how this wonder-kid and his U-16 batch fares at the international stages.


How Bimal’s story unfolded?

Though Bimal shot to the fame when he struck a last gasp equaliser against Pakistan that sent Nepal into the semi-finals of the eighth SAFF Championship, Bimal has sweat hard ever since his father pushed him into the field at a tender age of 12.

Born in a lower middle class family at the Western part of Nepal in a tiny village of Bhutaha in Nawalparasi, Bimal is on course to script a typical cliché in a successful person’s life — from rags to riches. The young sensation has already overcome the beginning of the script and is in line to begin the latter.

Bimal spent his early childhood days playing with the football made out of rags. A switch to the orginial ball was evident with the progression of time and Bimal was now playing local matches in Bhutaha. He owes much to his deceased father for being influential in his life.

“My father always inspired me to play football and one day he brought me a pair of boots and told me to ‘carry on’. It gave me enough reason to realise how serious I need to be now,” said Bimal who doesn’t want to express himself at the extreme.

One of the seniors from his village then mentored him guiding the upcoming star to ANFA Academy in Butwal. After passing through a selection phase, Bimal was now a member of the ANFA Academy playing junior level football.

There was a twist in the tale when Bimal was rejected in the ANFA Academy in Kathmandu. But an extraordinary talent was not to get rotten. Bimal received a call-up from Kathmandu academy to fill up the void created in the player’s absence.

Undergoing rigorous training at the ANFA Academy, Bimal went on to develop footballing skills and under proper guidance from the coaches particularly Bal Gopal Maharjan, his own commitment and dedication, a footballer was born.

Bimal was picked for the two-match friendly against Bangladesh in Kathmandu and in front of a jam packed Dasharath Stadium, Bimal became the youngest footballer to make national team debut at the age of 15. Bimal had very little to offer in that match, the other was washed out due to rain, in presence of experienced seniors but a positive body language meant he was to have another shot.

As time passed by, Bimal began to flourish under the faith shown by selectors. His influential performance helped Nepal finish runner-up in the SAFF U-16 Championship and when he skippered Nepal to the AFC U-16 Championship finals, the whole batch from the U-16 group was recognized as the next generation of football.

Bimal Gharti Magar

Bimal was closely watched by Rene Coster, the Dutch who was coaching the U-16 national team of Bangladesh, when he performed in the eighth SAFF Championship.

Coster acknowledged how Bimal coped with a pressure situation to score a last minute equaliser against Pakistan in the eighth SAFF Championship and with talent already there, he took Bimal to the youth set up of the top flight Netherlands outfit FC Twente.

Bimal spent two weeks of training-cum-trial at the FC Twente but was unable to lure the scouts there. Coster had already made up his mind to provide exposure to an immense talent Bimal carries and sent him to another top flight club of Belgium — FC Anderlecht.

Bimal went through a month long trial and training at Anderlecht playing two matches for the U-17 squad and even scored two eye catching goals against other two top tier youth teams of Europe. His performance was enought for Anderlecht to recruit him for a year. Bimal is now at the threshold of leading a footballing generation that can bring unprecedented results in history.


The Postman

Bimal is a self believer who knows what his stint at the FC Anderlecht can fetch him and Nepali football. “I will get to learn a lot of things in Belgium and sharing those things with my team-mates in Nepal is definitely going to be very helpful,” said Bimal.

Bimal Gharti Magar“The way how fooball is played in Nepal and Europe is of great difference. I have got myself an opportunity to indulge myself in a footballing culture that can shape a nation’s sports. If I manage to do well, I will have a message delivered.”

“People abroad will recognise the talent Nepali football has. I feel that I have a huge responsibility now. The current U-16 batch has been playing a very good football and if my performance will help open more doors for us, certainly we can be a better force to reckon with,” he added.

Coach Bal Gopal Maharjan, who has been looking after Bimal and his U-16 batch for the last four years, believes Bimal has manoeuvered a new avenue in Nepali football. “Its not only about Bimal now. He is an extraordinary talent that Nepali football has at the moment. But there are other boys in his batch who are itching to hit big stage,” said the former national team footballer.

“Bimal is a complete footballer who has been very much supported by his physique and his skills are amazing. He has got himself into a right place of exposure but this shouldn’t be an end. If he performs in Belgium, his other contemporaries can also get a chance because talent is everywhere here.”

Bal Gopal was rejuvenated when his side displayed an exemplary footballing skills when they defeated Bahrain, Turkmenistan and held Iraq to a draw securing a spot in the AFC U-16 Championship finals to be held in September in Thailand. He wants the spirit to continue for eternity.

“Yes this batch is playing wonderful football. We will compete in the U-16 Finals but that tournament shouldn’t be the end of the begining of a new era. If we hope to achieve something huge, at least in our region, then we need to groom these guys throughout the year with foreign based training and provide international match exposures,” he added.

When the would-be golden generation of Nepali fooball take on the field at the AFC U-16 Championship finals in Thailand, the entire country’s eyes will be firmly set on the semi-finals which will guarantee a spot in the U-17 World Cup.

Nepal is just at the gates of marking the biggest achievement of its football history. A facebook status in Bimal’s official fan page read: “And yes, We will take Nepal to the World Cup. Very Soon” and soon it had over 3000 respondents.

With Bimal and his U-16 batch, Nepal now can dream.

Bimal Gharti Magar

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One comment on “With Bimal, Lets Dream

  1. ferdous kamfar says:

    I am happy to read about these amazing individuals.

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