Home
Football
Who is Syed Abdul Rahim, the inspirational coach behind movie ‘Maidaan’?

Who is Syed Abdul Rahim, the inspirational coach behind movie ‘Maidaan’?

Rahim propelled India to historic semifinal appearance in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, a first for an Asian team.

Indian football’s current landscape invites varied opinions, spanning from commendations to criticisms. However, the nation boasts a rich footballing heritage, with one often underappreciated, Syed Abdul Rahim.

The Bollywood film, Maidaan, will honour the life of Rahim, an unsung hero credited with catalyzing Indian football’s ascension in the late 20th century. Portrayed by Ajay Devgn and helmed by director Amit Sharma, the movie promises to shed light on Rahim’s impactful legacy.

Rahim coached the Indian football team for more than a decade, from 1950 to 1963. The country won two gold medals in the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962 during this time, known as the “Golden Age of Indian Football”.

Born on August 17, 1909, in Hyderabad, Rahim’s journey began as a player for numerous college teams. Transitioning to coaching in 1943, he assumed leadership roles at various institutions, including the Hyderabad Football Association and the Hyderabad Police team. Rahim’s managerial prowess was evident, guiding his teams to multiple Rovers and Durand Cup triumphs.

The Architect of the Golden Age of Indian Football

Rahim coached the Indian football team for more over a decade, from 1950 to 1963. The country won two gold medals in the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962 during this time, known as the “Golden Age of Indian Football”.

India refused to participate in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, which was then known as the Jules Rihmet Trophy. After a year, they became Asia’s top team by winning gold at the continental championships. In the Asian Games final, India defeated Iran 1-0 in front of a sell-out home crowd in Delhi. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then-Prime Minister, was also present at the stadium to witness the play live.

Check out more news on football

Rahim’s tactics, emphasizing a ‘one-touch’ style and special training, revolutionized Indian football, epitomized by his adoption of the pioneering 4-2-4 formation, ahead of its time.

His innovative strategies propelled India to unprecedented heights, exemplified by their historic semifinal appearance in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, a first for an Asian team.

Rahim’s legacy extends beyond his managerial career. His vision for nurturing talent and fostering a robust coaching network underscores his enduring impact on Indian football. Yet, his aspirations for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to cultivate a nationwide talent pipeline remain largely unrealized.

Check out our latest web stories

Follow
Share

Editors pick

India vs Canada T20 World Cup: Match Preview, Head-to-Head, Team News, Pitch & Weather Report
Share article
Follow us on social media
Google News Whatsapp channel
Tell us why didn’t you like our article so that we can improve on?
Look at MS Dhoni’s iconic hairstyles in IPL Most Memorable Sunil Chhetri Moments India’s jerseys in every T20 World Cup India’s jerseys in each edition of T20 World Cup IPL 2024 controversies