Subrata Paul: Learning to live a Viking's life | sports | Hindustan Times
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Subrata Paul: Learning to live a Viking's life

sports Updated: Feb 28, 2014 00:15 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Subrata Paul

If you are a footballer, you don't usually talk about a yellow card and an impending visit to the police station and sound peppy about it. But then, these are not usual times for Subrata Paul.

The yellow card, Paul told HT over the phone from Slagelse, 100 km from Denmark's capital Copenhagen, guarantees him free healthcare. And the appointment with the police is to register his work permit. Paul, 27, is the first Indian footballer on contract with a team in the top tier of a European league. The goalie will be with Danish Superliga club FC Vestsjaelland till June 30, 2014.

Earlier in the week, Paul debuted for The Vikings in a reserve league match. He played 87 minutes before a slight hand injury forced a substitution. Vestsjaelland lost 1-5 but the shot-stopper said he wished the match had never ended.

"Football's very physical here and that makes defending corner-kicks or set-pieces so much more difficult. So, to be complimented by the coaching staff after the game, my first in two months, is a big boost," he said.

And despite the scoreline, the fans wished the team luck, said Paul. "Can you believe that in India?"

"I have been given a separate gym schedule to be followed three days a week," said Paul who has been recalled to the national team for the friendly against Bangladesh on March 5.