Bikash Yumnam taking his signature throw-in Credit: Bikash Yumnam Insta/Screengrab

Central defender Bikash Yumnam became the first Indian to make it to The Guardian’s list of ‘Next Generation’, which is a selection of the best young footballers from around the world, published annually by the newspaper.

The list which was first started in 2014, has featured some of the most exciting talent in football over the years, and Bikash now finds himself in such an elite group.

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The 17-year-old central defender has been impressive at the youth level, starring at the 2018 Under-18 Asian Championships as India did not concede a single goal in the group stage en route to their quarter-finals.

The Punjab FC central defender is now placed along with players from Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. The Guardian praised Yumnam as “Composed on the ball, a great reader of the game, and capable of excellent, fast, long throw-ins, the teenager has already been earmarked for a quick progression to the full international side”.

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Indian Football Team also congratulated the young central defender in their official Twitter handle. “Congratulations to Bikash Yumnam for being selected in the @guardian’s prestigious ‘Next Generation 2020’ list. The defender has represented India at various age-group levels & the Indian Arrows in the Hero I-League.”, the Indian Team tweeted.

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