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‘Ngangom Bala Devi’: Manipur Soccer Diva in Scotland!

‘Ngangom Bala Devi’: Manipur Soccer Diva in Scotland!

Football player Ngangom Bala Devi

Well, she has done it… Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju calls Ngangom Bala Devi the pride of Indian women’s football, even as she has bagged an 18-month contract with Scotland FC Ranger

Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom from her own state may be her senior in the sports world of India, but Manipur’s Ngangom Bala Devi is kicking off another huge start in India’s women’s football.

Ngangom, who is playing for Scotland FC Ranger, got an 18-month long contract with the club starting March this year.

Devi is the first Asian international to join Rangers FC.

Her contract is the first of its kind for any woman footballer from India.

As happens with sport contracts, details of how much she is earning are not available, but we can be assured it is a huge amount, going by Indian standards.

But it has not been that easy coming for her. She got dropped from the national team several times.

The 30-year-old started her career with the national team in 2005 at under-17 and represented India in the first women’s South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in 2010, where she scored five goals.

She also scored 11 goals for India in the 2014 SAFF Women’s Championship.

In the 2016 SAFF Women’s Championship, Ngangom Bala Devi captained India’s women’s national football team.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has awarded Devi as the Women’s Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

She was a part of the India team that took part in the first women’s SAFF Championship in 2010.On December 13, 2010, she scored five goals in India’s opening match of the tournament against Bhutan, as India won 18–0

India went on to win the tournament, defeating Nepal 1–0.

Born in Manipur, Devi grew up playing the game with mainly boys.

Devi’s first tournament with the national team was at the under-17 level in 2005.

She has represented India at the senior level since 2005.

She also represented the India women’s under-19 side in 2006 and 2007.

She was a part of the India team that took part in the first women’s SAFF Championship in 2010.

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On December 13, 2010, she scored five goals in India’s opening match of the tournament against Bhutan, as India won 18–0.

India went on to win the tournament, defeating Nepal 1–0.

She scored total eight goals in five matches.

Despite being a part of the 2010 winning team, Devi was not included in the India squad that won the tournament again in 2012.

She did return to the team for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers in May 2013 but India failed to qualify.

In January 2020, Devi signed a professional contract of 18 months with Scottish Women’s Premier League club Rangers, making her one of the few Indian women to become a professional footballer.

Devi, a former policewoman with Manipur government, is now one of the key players for her Scottish club.

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