Bengaluru: At the age of 12, he travels for around 25 km a day and more than 40 km on Friday. Five days of training in a week. On the field, he has been playing professional football from the age of nine and is keen about badminton and volleyball as well. Off the field, he is fond of English and Mathematics. An ardent Lionel Messi fan, who loves his sense of play, but at the same time, believes in backing his own style.
Twelve-year-old Surya Varikuti, class seven student of DPS Whitefield, will represent India at the Football for Friendship (F4F) programme in Moscow. This initiative by FIFA’s official partner Gazprom, will bring together kids from 211 countries forming 32 teams and compete in six a side contest, where they will be coached by teenagers from the age group of 14-16.
Venu Surya, father of the football enthusiast, told Deccan Chronicle, “I am very happy and more so because the All India Football Federation looked at the data while selecting the player. As per the draw a defender was to be selected from India; subsequently, in a rational way they looked at the teams which conceded the least number of goals. They have even started with U-13 and U-15 category, which augurs well for the raw talent at the grassroot level.”
Surya plays as a defender for Roots Football School, which has consistently won all the zonal matches and conceded only two goals during the tournament. He had missed one of the matches where they had conceded the goal and he was one of the few defenders falling under the bracket of U13 age group (i.e. June 2005)
The right wing back player, who finds his coach stricter than his father, said he keeps himself fit and his skill level has increased tremendously because of his coach. Surya, who will also watch the opening match of FIFA 2018 world cup - Russia vs Saudi Arabia, might even get a chance to meet some of his idols like Messi and David Luiz.
Surya is all excited about his trip to Moscow and said all he aims right now is to give his best and try to help his team Orangutan win the tournament and make new friends....