Achievements that helped Gurpreet Singh Sandhu win Arjuna Award
by Shubham Sharma
A towering 6 ft 6 inches tall stature, combined with eccentric movements and sharp reflexes, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu without a doubt is one of the best goalkeepers of India not only of this generation but of all time. He's an inspiration to many budding footballers. He has achieved feats no Indian has ever achieved before. And the famed athlete now has now won the prestigious Arjuna Award, becoming in this process the 26th footballer and the 4th goalkeeper to achieve this feat, after Subrata Paul (2016), Brahmanand Sankhwalkar (1997) and the late Peter Thangaraj (1967).
"I am thrilled and honoured to be named for the Arjuna Award. I want this recognition to serve as an inspiration to everyone playing the sport in the country. My joy will then be complete," Gurpreet said.
Let's take a look at some of the career achievements that led to him winning the prestigious Arjuna Award.
1. On the eve of Independence day in 2014, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu signed up a contract with Norwegian top-tier club Stabaek IF, making him the only player so far to have signed up for a Scandinavian club.
2. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is the first and only player so far to have played in competitive matches for the first team of a European top-tier club. He made his league debut on May 2016 against IK Start.
3. The 27-year old is the only Indian player to have ever competed in any European club competition. He was the first Indian to have ever made an appearance at the UEFA Europa League when he started for the Norwegian outfit in the first leg of the first qualifying round tie against Connah's Quay at Belle Vue in Rhyl, Wales.
4. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has 1 clean sheet in almost every 2 games in the Indian Super League- the best for any goalkeeper in the league.
But being at the peak of his career, the custodian has only started on this list, which is set to elongate in the days to come.