Subhasish Bose, the prominent Indian footballer with an impressive career spanning multiple ISL clubs and the national team, shares insights into his journey and the impact of football in India. In an interaction with the league, Bose highlights the transformative role of the Indian Super League (ISL) in shaping the dreams of the current generation.

As a player with 34 caps for the Indian national team and stints with distinguished ISL clubs such as Mumbai City FC, Bengaluru FC, and Mohun Bagan Super Giant, Bose has witnessed success and personal growth. Winning the ISL final and the Durand Cup with his club, as well as being part of the national team's triumphs in the Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship, mark significant achievements in his career.

Subhasish Bose speaks (Download and watch here)

However, the 28-year-old, a staunch Mohun Bagan supporter since his younger days, still recollects the time when he had divorced the idea of building a career out of football.

“There is a lot of opportunity and the ISL has helped spread the message amongst the masses that football can be taken up as a profession in India. When we started off, it was pure passion at play. I wasn’t sure whether I could sustain my family by merely playing the game. However, the ISL has helped bring in greater exposure and the league is helping the current generation dream big, become professional footballers, and represent their favourite clubs and most importantly, the country,” Bose says in an interaction with the league.

'Mariners' supporters are best fans'

Hailing from Kolkata, Bose has been in love with the game and his club for as long as he can remember. He is someone who thrives under pressure and rides on the emotions that fans create inside the stadium. Admittedly, the versatile defender is encouraged to regain his spirits and give the game his all in the dying minutes of a match solely because of the support that is showered on him by the Mariners’ fan base. “I feel very passionate about playing for the Mariners because I believe they are the best fans in the country,” he says.

“Winning the ISL trophy with the Mohun Bagan Super Giant last season has been the highlight of my career in this league so far. We had been trying for that for many years and to achieve it finally was a great moment. Secondly, scoring against India’s best goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu during our matches against Bengaluru FC is a very memorable moment! Every game that I play in front of the Mohun Bagan crowd is something to cherish. Even when I am tired at around the 70-80 minute mark, they cheer us up and it energises me even more, encouraging me to perform even better,” Bose adds.

Any conversation about Kolkata football is incomplete without mentioning the century-old rivalry between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC. Subhasish Bose humorously recalls avoiding discussions with friends from the Red & Gold Brigade during derby days. Simultaneously, he cautions that the rivalry should be restricted only on the field and bad blood should not spill beyond the duration of the game.

'ISL has helped Indian football grow tremendously'

“Ever since childhood, as a Bengali boy, I didn’t talk to my friends who are East Bengal FC fans during the derby day. As a professional player, I believe that these things help grow Indian football. However, I would always insist for the rivalry exists only for the 90 minutes that the game takes place. Now, I have a lot of friends who are East Bengal FC fans, but the rivalry between us remains only for the time of the game. After that, we go out, have dinner, have fun, etc,” Bose says.

“The fan base for Indian football has grown a lot. People used to consume only European football, mainly the English Premier League (EPL) earlier. But, that interest is getting converted into our sport now. Kolkata is known as the mecca of football in India because of the rivalry between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC,” he adds.

Indian football has seen Bose evolve from a talented youngster to a dependable defender who takes up responsibilities during important moments for both his club and the country. Bose credits the ISL for helping him get acquainted with international expertise, in the form of coaches and players who have enabled him to discover a newer side of his playing style. “The Indian Super League (ISL) has helped Indian football and its players grow tremendously in the last decade. Playing under foreign coaches and Spanish, French, and other teammates, who have played for their national teams, has enabled us to improve our individual qualities too. It has encouraged us to play more fearlessly for the national team,” Bose signs off.