Vikash Dhorasoo, Zizou's midfield compatriot: France via Mauritius via India
It's pretty abysmal when we consider the mark that Indian athletes have left on the world. We literally have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find some redemption. We can claim 500 million gold medals in the South Asian Federation games because we go up against Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives.
Not exactly world powers!
Even Sri Lanka has a better track record in the premier sporting events when Susanthika Jayasinghe claimed a bronze in the women's 100 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. India's last medals in track came in the 1900 Paris Olympics when Norman Pritchard won silver in the 100 meters and 200 meter hurdles.
The story gets a bit better when we consider the Indian diaspora. Alexei Grewal, 1984 LA Olympics gold medalist in the road race and Mohini Bharadwaj, US Women's gymnastics team captain and silver medalist in the team event at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
And now with Michael Chopra, Newcastle striker taking over Alan Shearer's role (Disclaimer: I have not compared him to Alan Shearer) things are looking up a bit for football players of Indian origin.
But the big news is that Vikash Dhorasoo is going to be in the line up for France. The Paris St. Germain midfielder who has often been compared to Zinedine Zidane all these years may finally get playing time in this World Cup. Dhorasoo has been slated to share time on the left flank along with Sylvain Wiltord.
(Paris St. Germain midfielder)
Vikash Dhorasoo became the first player of Indian origin to win a major football medal when his club Olympique Lyonnaise won the French First Division title. In the 2003-04 season he was named The Best Player of Ligue 1.
"And Dhorasoo wasn't some substitute playing cameo roles; he is acknowledged as the team's creative spark - he was their player of the 2003-2004 season - and has made it to the division's all-star XI. Born in Mauritius to Indian parents, Dhorasoo has been making waves in French football for six-odd years now, likened in style to Zinedine Zidane and linked with transfers to Arsenal, Juventus and Liverpool, among others. "
I was being facetious when I said that Indian athletes have left no imprint on the world. Karnam Malleshwari got the bronze in the women's 69 kg weightlifting at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and Rajyavardan Singh Rathore won a silver in the Athens Olympics in the men's double trap event. Before that Leander Paes received a bronze for his third place finish in men's tennis in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. This medal finished almost four decades of individual futility since KP Jhadav's boxing bronze in the bantamweight division at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
But you have to agree its pretty slim pickings. So Vikash score a goal in this World Cup so that you can enhance your Wikipedia entry as the first goalscorer of Indian origin in the World Cup.