Scottish team Glasgow Rangers have signed India’s prolific attacker Bala Devi from Manipur Police Sports Club in a historic deal following her successful trial at the club last November. The 29-year-old is set to join the Rangers on an 18-month-deal and will become the country’s first woman to be a professional footballer in Europe. The Glasgow club on Wednesday announced her signing in a statement, adding that the move is subjected to ‘international clearance’.
Bala who happens to be Rangers’ first Asian international footballer, is India’s top scorer with 52 goals in just 58 games and has an outstanding domestic record, netting more than 100 times in her last 120 appearances. The Manipuri forward was the top scorer in the Indian Women’s League for the last couple of seasons and won the AIFF Women’s Player of the Year twice in her illustrious career (2015 and 2016).
After her transfer was confirmed, Bala expressed her gratification saying,
“To play my football in Europe with one of the biggest clubs in the world is something I could never have dreamed of. I’m looking forward to making the most of the top-class facilities and coaching and I am certain I will benefit immensely from the standard of training and competition.”
“I’m very grateful to Amy McDonald, the coaching staff and the entire management at Rangers for believing in me. This move wouldn’t have been possible without Bengaluru FC who have been instrumental throughout. I can’t wait to get to Glasgow, join my teammates and give this my best shot” she added.
— Rangers Women (@RangersWFC) January 29, 2020
Meanwhile, Amy McDonald, the manager of the Rangers Women’s and Girls’ team said,
“We are thrilled to welcome Bala to Rangers. She is an exciting signing on so many levels and a playmaker who likes to play as a number 10 and we believe she will contribute goals and assists to the team.”
This historic move in Indian football was made possible through Rangers’ partnership with Bengaluru FC which was announced in September last year and Mandar Tamhane, the CEO of Bengaluru FC couldn’t hide his delight stating,
“We are delighted at Bala securing what is a historic move to Rangers Football Club. Bala’s signing with Rangers sets a very encouraging precedent for women footballers from India and we are glad that Bengaluru FC’s partnership with Rangers is creating the right kind of impact in such a short period of time.”
You may also like: