Syed Abdul Rahim
Abdul Rahim was an Indian football coach and manager of the Indian national team from 1950 to 1963. He was also a former player. He is credited with creating modern Indian football. He was primarily a teacher, but he was a strong motivator, and his time as a coach is remembered as India's "golden age" of football. In 1956, he led the Indian team to the semi-finals of the Melbourne Olympic Football Tournament, making India the first Asian country to do so.
• He was born in Hyderabad in 1909 and learned his trade while growing up, quickly becoming a prominent figure in the city's footballing circuit.
• In his early years, he was a member of the City College of Hyderabad's "Eleven Hunters" team, which consisted of current and former students.
• He returned to college to finish his arts degree after a few years as a teacher. Following that, he worked as a teacher in a number of different schools.
• He earned a physical education diploma and oversaw sports activities at two different schools.
• When he took over the Hyderabad City Police team in the 1940s, his true genius shone through. His team went on to dominate the local and national scene for a long time, and he was soon hired as the head coach of the Indian football team in 1950.
• Rahim's first task as India's coach was to prepare the team for a tour of Ceylon.
• At the Asian Games in 1951, Syed led the team to a gold medal, demonstrating his ability.
• The Indian team preferred to play barefoot back then, and boots were never considered a necessity. After a crushing defeat at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 due to the bitter cold, Syed fought back with a vengeance. It was the team's last game without their boots.
• After the previous defeat, Syed improved as a coach and prepared his team to win several international tournaments in the following years.
• India also advanced to the semi-finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics after a thrilling quarter-final victory over Australia. Despite the fact that India lost to Yugoslavia, it is still regarded as one of India's greatest sporting achievements.
• Syed assembled the team for the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, six years after the Melbourne Olympics. At the time, he was battling cancer.
• In front of a crowd of 100,000 people, the coach led his team to a glorious victory in the finals, defeating South Korea, and India won gold in the 1962 Asian Games.
• His deteriorating health forced him to resign as the Indian football team's coach two months after the stunning victory.
• Rahim died nine months later, on June 11, 1963, at his home in Hyderabad. He was only 54 years old when he died. He had lung cancer and was one of the best coaches of his generation.
• Between 1952 and 1955, India won the quadrangular Colombo Cup four times, as well as performing admirably in the Merdeka Cup.
• Rahim was a forerunner of his time. His tenure as coach of the Indian team coincided with the ‘Golden Age' of Indian football, which lasted from 1951 to 1962.
• At a time when most teams around the world used the WW formation, also known as the 2-3-2-3 system, and then switched to the 3-3-4 system in the mid-1950s, Rahim introduced the revolutionary 4-2-4 formation to Indian football.
• Western clubs adopted his tactics of a forward who drew to the half-line to create moves and an extra defender who overlapped into attack.
• Syed Rahim wanted some of his Hyderabad players to play in the Indian Olympic team in Melbourne, but he was denied because Hyderabad was considered a weak team at the time, so it was paired with Bengal, the strongest team at the time.
• In that match, Hyderabad thrashed Bengal 3-0 at the BNR Ground, and Rahim was given the team he desired.
• Hakim, Rahim's son, was a member of the 1960 Olympic team.
• Maidaan, a biopic film about Syed Abdul Rahim, starring Ajay Devgn.
• He is the recipient of an I-League trophy and the 'Syed Abdul Rahim Best Coach Award.'