Sailendra Nath Manna

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Sailendra Nath Manna

Born: 1 September 1924

Died: 27 February 2012

  • He known popularly as Sailen Manna was an Indian international footballer and is considered to be one of the best defenders India has ever produced.
  • He has represented and captained India in different international competitions including the Olympics and Asian Games.
  • He also has a record of playing for Mohun Bagan, one of the best clubs in India, for a continuous period of 19 years.
  • He is the only Asian Footballer ever to be named among the 10 best Captains in the world by the English FA in 1953.
  • He started his playing career for Howrah Union, then a club in the 2nd Division Kolkata Football League, in 1940.
  • After turning out for the club for a couple of seasons, he joined Mohun Bagan in 1942 and continued playing for the club till his retirement in 1960.
  • Between 1950 and 1955, he featured as the club’s captain.
  • During his 19-year association with the club as a player, he reportedly earned only ₹19.
  • Speaking to Sportstar in 2006, he reasoned that he “played out of love for the sport and was happy with the salary I got from my employer, the Geological Survey of India.”
  • As a defender, he was known for his anticipation, covering and a strong free-kick.

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