- RSS Feed
Pune FC’s Rushab lives a dream at Bayern Munich Youth Cup
Some say opportunity knocks only once, That is not true. Opportunity knocks all the time, but you have to be ready for it. If the chance comes, you must have the equipment to take advantage of it.
- Louis L’Amour (American writer, best-selling author, 1908-1988)
When Pune FC’s midfielder Rushab Dhere set foot on German soil to play the FC Bayern Youth Cup little did he expect to emerge top-scorer for his motherland – India.
Pitted against similar Under-16 teams from seasoned football-playing nations Italy, Austria, China and Germany, Rushab, quite honestly admitted, “I wanted to play… play my heart out. The trip was a dream and I wanted to live it fully.”
Rushab surely lived life king size making most of the chance by accounting a hat-trick in the four goals India scored in an overall fifth-place performance. “The opponents were tough no doubt,” reasoned Rushab, before adding, “We (India) showed them all we were fighters too.”
Going down to Italy (0-1) then home side Germany (1-2), India came back strongly to hold tough Austria 3-3. The game saw Rushab give it all and emerge hero netting a hat-trick. “Unbelievable! We (India) had lost two games. Our mind was focused on giving it all in the next two games and were positive not to go home with losses in our kitty,” Rushab explained, before shaking his head with disbelief with the recollection.
For the record, Austria eventually finished runners up to Italy.
The last match against China was a goalless affair meaning two points from the drawn games.
With memories of preparing for their big day on the elite stage under FC Bayern youth coaches at the Säbener Strasse, attending the Netherlands friendly at the Arena to physically playing in the famed Allianz Arena (venue of 2012 Champions League final), Rushab is practical by summing up the trip as “an opportunity once in a life time.”
Rushab, on a more serious note, felt European teams posed to be physically stronger and their training methods far different than back home. “I was lucky to experience it and owe it to all back home,” he adds.
Having returned with a host of keep-sakes, Kolhapur-born Rushab remembers the autograph session with midfielder Arjen Robben by describing the moment with “every one of us clicked a photograph of him (Arjen)”.
Apart from Rushab, his Pune FC Under-17 teammate and goalkeeper Rohan Phasge travelled to Munich.