Critics might feel that India goalkeeper Subrata Pal is past his prime, but the 32-year-old believes that he still has it in him to man the goalpost in national colours. A hard working sportsman who saw it all -- from a striker dying on the field of play due to a collision to a dope controversy -- says that he is ready to sign off on a high.
"See I haven't announced my retirement. Football is my passion, I love to play football. I do not play football looking at the future. I give it my hundred per cent. Getting picked for the national squad is the selectors' call," Pal told IANS.
Pal realises that he has tough competition as the current crop of goalkeepers in the Indian team are very good.
"I have seen them -- Gurpreet Sandhu, Amrinder Singh -- growing. I wish them and the national team all the luck. As far as me getting a chance is concerned, I am still working hard and if given an opportunity I will give it my all.
"Even today I am practicing very hard, practicing both in the morning and evening to keep myself fit and match ready. Getting a chance is not in my hand, but if the new coach calls me, I am ready for it," he said.
Age should not be a factor as Pal feels practice makes a man perfect and he does that religiously without fail.
"Our new coach hasn't seen me play so far. The upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season will be my opportunity to showcase my talent and I will try my level best to impress him", Pal said.
Pal, who represented the country over a period of almost 12 years and has played 76 matches, feels that he still has it in him and he can bring a lot to the table. "The new generation of goalkeepers can also learn a lot from my experience as I have been with the national team for such a long time", Pal said.
( 355 Words)