My dream is to make it to the national team: Rinzuala

New Delhi, Apr 3: It is rare to see an Indian forward with double figures in the scorers’ charts in the ISL or I-League, let alone one vying for the top scorer award.

Only twice in the last 10 seasons have Indian names figured in the I-League top scorers’ list – Sunil Chhetri’s 14 goals in Bengaluru FC’s title-winning season in 2013-14, and Bidyashagar Singh’s 12 goals in TRAU FC’s title challenge (they finished third) in 2020-21. However, the 2023-24 season of the I-League, has brought forth a fledgling forward, a 23-year-old, who has surpassed those that have come before him. Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia, fondly called Rinzuala by those around him, the Aizawl FC forward has already netted 15 goals from 19 appearances in his debut season.

Rinzuala has already surpassed the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Bhaichung Bhutia (14 goals in 1996-97), Jeje Lalpekhlua (12 goals in 2010-11) in terms of the number of goals scored in a season, but the 23-year-old is gunning for greater glories at the present. He is currently entwined in a race for the top scorers’ award in the 2023-24 I-League season, having scored one less than Alejandro Sanchez Lopez of Gokulam. For the Aizawl lad, however, he’s well past the mark he had set out to reach at the start of the season.

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