Nepal | July 14, 2020

Nepal’s all-time top scorer Sabitra Bhandari ‘Samba’ features in

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KATHMANDU: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of football, has written a feature on Nepal’s all-time scorer Sabitra Bhandari ‘Samba’ on its website. has shared an account of how the 23-year-old Nepali footballer has realised her childhood ambitions of playing for Nepal.

Summing up her childhood experience, put into words her experience in her home village of Lamjung district where she used to play football barefoot with neighbourhood boys. “The ball they played with was made of socks, but it didn’t stop her dreaming big. She wanted to become a team-mate of then Nepal women’s stars Anu Lama and Jamuna Gurung,” she said.

Bhandari is quoted as saying, “When I was young, I often heard on the radio that Lama or Gurung scored for the national team.” “From then on I had the dreams of playing with them one day. When this came true, I set new goals of becoming the top scorer, which I have also fulfilled.”

Bhandari was signed by India’s Sethu FC last year which later went on to win the Indian Women’s League title.

After joining Gokulam Kerala FC this season, she continued her phenomenal prolificacy, managing 31 goals, including five hat-tricks, to fire her club to league glory, FIFA mentioned.

“I have learned a lot from playing in India,” Bhandari is quoted as saying, and adds, “It was a new experience for me playing matches for a month-long period. I was lucky enough to have played a part and won the league with two different clubs. It was the teams’ joint efforts that counted.”

Bagging these two titles have not quenched Bhandari’s thirst. She has set her goal to work hard and help Nepal become the champions in South Asia. She thinks about pursuing an overseas career in Europe if the opportunity arrives.

“Football has changed my life completely. Nobody knew me back then but now, football is my identity. The country believes in me. I am proud to be known as a footballer for my country,” Samba gleams with pride.

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