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Nabi enjoys his versatility

NEW DELHI: His versatility has made him one of the most sought after players in Indian football in the past few years and he still loves to contribute for the team from any position.

Syed Rahim Nabi is the only player other than Carlton Chapman who has played as a striker, a defender and a midfielder. He is aware of his resourcefulness and enjoys the responsibility associated with an all-rounder.

“I am happy to be playing as a left-half now. If there is such a player in the side, it helps the coach (in terms of flexibility). I enjoy playing at different positions,” said Nabi after the practice session of the Indian football team at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Saturday.

“I have no problem. I started for Tata Football Academy (TFA) as a forward. I played as a left-back and then as a left-half,” he added.

The 25-year-old, who has played for all the top Bengal sides like Mohammedan Sporting, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, rates the ongoing National camp very highly.

“We have been doing some serious practice,” said Nabi, who had taken a few days break from the camp to attend the last rites of his uncle who passed away recently.

Like many of his fellow campers, Nabi did not have any difficulty in adjusting to Armando Colaco's method of coaching. “Every coach has his own style. We play 4-4-2, so there is no problem in adjusting. During the time of Bob Houghton, the emphasis was on long balls. I enjoyed that and now I am enjoying this too.”

Nabi hoped that the Indian team would put up a better show against UAE in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. India had lost 0-5 to the same side in a friendly prior to the Asian Cup.

“UAE is a very good team. They are physically strong and do a lot of hard work. But our preparation has been good and we have time at hand,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National team thrashed Army (Western Command) 8-0 in another practice match. Sunil Chhetri (4), Joaquim Abranches (2), T. Naoba Singh and Nabi scored the goals. — Principal Correspondent

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