42 Facts About Baichung Bhutia


Bhaichung Bhutia was born on 15 December 1976, and spelled as Baichung Bhutia, is an Indian former professional footballer who played as a striker.

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Baichung Bhutia is often nicknamed the Sikkimese Sniper because of his shooting skills in football.

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Baichung Bhutia has had four spells at then I-League side East Bengal Club, the club where he started his career.

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Baichung Bhutia is India's second most capped player, with 80 international caps to his name.

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Baichung Bhutia is India's second youngest international goal scorer after Jerry Zirsanga when he scored his first goal against Uzbekistan in 1995 Nehru cup at the age of 18 years 90 days.

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Baichung Bhutia, who has a football stadium named after him in honour of his contribution to Indian football, has won many awards, such as the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.

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Baichung Bhutia went on to play for several schools and local clubs in his home state of Sikkim, including the Gangtok-based Boys Club, which was managed by Karma.

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In 1993, at the age of sixteen, Baichung Bhutia left school to join the professional East Bengal FC in Kolkata.

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Baichung Bhutia was the top goalscorer in the league, and was chosen to make his international debut in the Nehru Cup.

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Baichung Bhutia became only the second Indian footballer to play professionally in Europe after Mohammed Salim.

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Baichung Bhutia had difficulty obtaining a visa and could not make his debut, until 3 October 1999 against Cardiff City.

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In 2002, Baichung Bhutia returned to India and played for Mohun Bagan for a year.

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Baichung Bhutia finished as the top scorer of the Championship with nine goals.

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Baichung Bhutia signed up to play for Perak FA, the Malaysian championship club, from August to October 2003 on loan and returned to East Bengal Club for the regular season.

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In 2005, Baichung Bhutia signed for another Malaysian club, Selangor MK Land.

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Baichung Bhutia made five appearances only, scoring one goal, as the club had monetary problems.

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Baichung Bhutia won the Indian Player of the Year for the second time in 2008.

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On 18 May 2009, Baichung Bhutia announced he would quit Mohun Bagan, due to the questioning of his footballing commitment by the club's officials.

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Baichung Bhutia was reported to have officially signed for East Bengal on 22 June 2009, on a one-year contract, announcing that he would end his playing career at the club.

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Baichung Bhutia scored for India against Uzbekistan in the 1995 Nehru Cup becoming India's youngest ever goalscorer, at 19.

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Baichung Bhutia scored the second goal for India after Bruno Coutinho opened the scoring and Baichung Bhutia was named as the tournament's most valuable player.

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Baichung Bhutia received the award for the Most Valuable Player and the Fair Play trophy.

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Baichung Bhutia was selected as the most valuable player of the tournament, finishing with three goals.

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Baichung Bhutia scored the first goal in this match to help the team recover from their opening day defeat to Lebanon.

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Baichung Bhutia was adjudged as the "man of the match" for his performance.

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Baichung Bhutia missed the final match of the round-robin, as India were already guaranteed a spot in the deciding match.

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Baichung Bhutia was adjudged as "Player of the Tournament" for his stellar performances in all of the matches, including the decider where they beat Syria in a penalty shootout.

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Baichung Bhutia donated half of the prize money to charity and the other half was shared with his choreographer; he said some money would go towards areas hit by Cyclone Aila.

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In 2014, Baichung Bhutia joined the All India Trinamool Congress and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Indian general election from Darjeeling constituency.

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Baichung Bhutia comes from a buddhist background, although he is, by conviction, not religious - in fact an atheist.

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Baichung Bhutia married his longtime girlfriend Madhuri Tipnis, a hotel professional, on 30 December 2004 in his native village of Tinkitam in South Sikkim.

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Baichung Bhutia is one of the most popular figures in the state and is considered as a role model to many Sikkimese as well to people from other states of India.

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On 23 January 2008, Baichung Bhutia was nominated for the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his contribution to Indian football.

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Baichung Bhutia played in the Goal 4 Africa match held in the Allianz Arena, Munich, on 12 July 2008, for the Edu team, led by Clarence Seedorf, and scored twice.

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In 2009, Baichung Bhutia started a foundation called the "Indian Sports Foundation" to help footballers overcome serious injuries.

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Baichung Bhutia is the president of the Football Players' Association of India, an organisation that promises "fair treatment" of Indian footballers by dealing with financial aspects such as pension plans.

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Baichung Bhutia formed FPAI after seeing the Professional Footballers' Association in England.

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Baichung Bhutia signed an endorsement deal with Adidas India Marketing Pvt.

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In 2008, Baichung Bhutia was solicited to run with the Olympic torch in India, but he refused to carry the torch to show support for the Tibetan independence movement.

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Baichung Bhutia was the first Indian sportsman to refuse to carry the Olympic torch.

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Baichung Bhutia's actions have won him little praise from his colleagues in India however, who criticised him for mixing sports with politics.

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Baichung Bhutia was married to Madhuri Tipnis a hotelier in 2004.

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