The Indian Super League (ISL) has charted a unique story in the country’s footballing landscape in the last decade, harbouring hopes amongst youngsters to rub shoulders with the best in the business in the competition. Several sensations have broken through the ISL. Today, it stands as an aspirational platform, having nurtured many youngsters who have gone on to shine as superstars. One of the stories is that of NorthEast United FC’s 20-year-old star Parthib Gogoi is the latest to join that illustrious list.
Born in Assam, Gogoi grew up supporting the Highlanders. Frequenting their matches at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati was a norm as he dreamt of representing them in the ISL one day.
“Playing for NorthEast United FC is a dream come true for me. It’s a huge thing for me. My parents saw a dream for both of us brothers (Pragyan Gogoi and him) to play in the same team. Whenever fans chant my name, it encourages me to do better. Because I used to be one of those fans and watch the matches of our club. So, it’s a lovely feeling and experience altogether,” Gogoi opened up on the opportunity to play for the team during an interaction.
Beaming high on confidence, Gogoi has earmarked his side’s ambitions for the season. He strongly believes that the Highlanders will be the underdogs who will spring a surprise against stronger opponents in ISL 2023-24. They triumphed over Chennaiyin FC by 3-0 at home and the young winger is confident that many more such inspiring performances are in the line for them in the coming months. On an individual level, Parthib has already equalled his goal-scoring record of last season by netting thrice in this campaign.
Meanwhile, head coach Juan Pedro Benali is optimistic about Gogoi’s future but he has cautioned fans to not get too ahead of themselves already. He believes that the player has a long way to go before becoming a finished product and has hence encouraged supporters to be patient and not burden him with expectations straightaway.
“I will tell you something very important. This gentleman (Parthib) here is a very young guy. He is just starting here. We have stairs to go. We cannot jump to the fourth stair without doing the first three. Give him time and he will be a great player. But, if we hurry, we will lose him,” the tactician explained. Regardless, Parthib’s progress in turning his promise into performances will be closely tracked by the entire footballing fraternity this season.