Lesser Known Facts About ‘The Wall’ Of Indian Football – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Following the retirement of Sunil Chhetri, the Indian football team has announced Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as their captain for the crucial World Cup Qualifier

Following the retirement of Sunil Chhetri, the Indian football team has announced Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as their captain for the crucial World Cup Qualifier clash against Qatar on Tuesday, June 11.

The veteran keeper is currently the most experienced and longest-serving player in the national team with 72 appearances after Chhetri retired from the sport recently.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has been India’s first-choice keeper for over a decade now. Besides this, he has also captained the Blue Tigers on 10 occasions previously. In the game against Kuwait in their previous outing, the Indian team’s backline would’ve found themselves in trouble had it not been for Gurpreet Singh’s heroics that saved the game for them.

In his career of 13 years in the national team, Gurpreet has accumulated 28 clean sheets. While the list of his match-saving performances is endless, his heroics in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers against Qatar stand out.

Here, in this article, we will share a few lesser-known facts about Gurpreet Singh Sandhu:

Cricket To Football:

From a very young age, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was inclined towards playing cricket, however, his interest switched to football at the age of eight.

Academy Days In Chandigarh:

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu honed his skills at the St. Stephen’s Academy in Chandigarh. He joined the academy in 2000 and stayed there until 2009.

Lesser Known Facts About 'The Wall' Of Indian Football - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

State Debut:

Gurpreet’s talent was recognized early on as he was selected for his state youth team, the Punjab U16s. He made his debut in 2006.

Golden Glove Winner:

Before he achieved success in the national team, Gurpreet won everyone’s hearts with his performances at the club level. He also won the Golden Glove award in the Indian league for keeping the most clean sheets in a season.

First Indian in UEFA Europa League:

Gurpreet scripted history as he became the first Indian player to feature in the UEFA Europa League while playing for Norwegian club Stabæk in 2016. However, his time at Stabæk was limited because of the playing time, which led him to return to India.

Lesser Known Facts About 'The Wall' Of Indian Football - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Rise In National Team:

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made his debut for the Indian national team in 2011, however, his early years saw him play a backup role. It took him 4 years to establish himself as the main goalkeeper for the Blue Tigers during the World Cup 2015 Qualifiers.

Awards Recognition:

Gurpreet has received several prestigious awards for his outstanding contribution to Indian football. He received the Arjuna Award in 2019 and AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2019-2020. He has also won the Indian Super League Golden Glove Award on multiple occasions.

Captaincy:

Besides his amazing goalkeeping prowess, Gurpreet has also impressed one and all with his leadership qualities. He has served as the vice-captain for Bengaluru FC during the 2021-22 season. He has also captained the Blue Tigers on 10 occasions previously.

Lesser Known Facts About 'The Wall' Of Indian Football - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Family Man:

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is a perfect family man. Gurpreet often credits his wife and parents for their unwavering support.

Musical Inspiration:

Gurpreet is a big music fan. Before every big and important game, he draws inspiration from listening to Punjabi music.

Philanthropic Work:

Gurpreet is known for his charitable work. He has participated in initiatives to promote football among underprivileged children in India.

Fitness Freak:

Gurpreet is known for his dedication to fitness. He follows a rigorous training regime.