A wave of sadness has spread among football fans after the demise of Mohammed Habib. Mohammed Habib was a renowned Indian football team captain, who represented India in many international tournaments from 1965 to 1976. Many experts consider him one of the finest players the country has ever produced.
In the 1970s he was renowned as a maestro of the football team. He scored against Pele’s New York Cosmo while donning the Mohun Bagan due to his extraordinary skills.
In one of the interviews, Habib once told the sports star-“It will remain one of my greatest moments and which was appreciated by Pele himself at the end of the match, hugging me and wishing me the best of luck wishes,”
A True Legend
His achievement involves clinching a bronze medal in the Asian Games 1970s held in Bangkok, where he played under the leadership of his fellow Hyderabadi Syed Nayeemuddin and was managed by the great P.K. Banerjee.
Throughout his prime years, Habib has represented the Kolkata Maidan– Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and Mohammedan Sporting, his remarkable performance on the field has had a lasting impact on Indian football, shaping the landscape of the sports in the late 1960s to 1970s.
Following a successful career that saw him earn a legendary status and the tag of the country’s first “true professional” footballer, he refused to accept numerous job offers that came his way due to his exceptional performance on the field. Instead, he preferred to take coaching at the Tata Football Academy (TFA).
For the Indian Football Association academy in Haldia, he acted as chief coach.
At the time when the club used to pay meagre sums to their best players, throughout his career he was unruffled and remained professional. He considered playing football as his only real profession.
Match Against Pele
One of the Highest points of Habib’s career was when he played against the visiting cosmos club for Mohan Bagan which also featured the legendary Pale in 1977 in a friendly match on a rain-soaked Eden Gardens.
Habib was one of the scorers, even when there were big names like Pele, Georgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, and others in its ranks.
In one of the matches Habib was singled out by the Pele and after the match one of the best players in the world praises his match, it was one of his biggest acknowledgments for him.
The former Indian player was 74, leaves behind his wife and three daughters, who have been battling dementia and Parkinson’s syndrome for the last few years and he took his last breath at his native place Hyderabad on Tuesday.