Experts’ Views: The newsmakers of 2017

Kolkata: The year 2017 has been an eventful year for many reasons, from Virushka’s marriage to Roger Federer’s magic with the tennis racket, India’s best ever FIFA ranking in the last twenty years to 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup, chooses the top newsmakers and the greats of the respective genres to analyze it in their own visions to our journalist Suman Chakravorty.

Virushka’s wedding


Agnimitra Paul (Fashion designer): The best part of Virat and Anushka’s wedding was the simplicity of entire arrangements. It was very special for me to see with the way they decided to hide their special moments in they. It was very beautiful with the way they decided to tie the knot there and the place was also ideal.

The theme was good according to the place and the colours of the costumes were chosen very smartly. Even the guests didn’t wear a red, or green dress. The flowers were pink and off white and those were very well set.

In the reception, Anushka was like a Bengali bride as she wore a banarasi. It was also a special thing to me as she could have easily decided to wear other sophisticated sarees or dresses but she chose banarasi which again shows simplicity in her.

To me, Virat’s costume was not very special. He is a very handsome guy.  But, the whole thing is simplicity of colours, simplicity of clothes and more over the simplicity among those two made the whole event very special. I wish them a great life ahead.

Roger Federer’s magic


Zeeshan Ali (Indian tennis stalwart): Firstly, I would like to say that Roger Federer is not just the finest ambassador to have played the game, but also one of the finest human being in the history of the world of sports. I spent some valuable time with Federer this year in Dubai Open and I only got enthralled by his aura. Players had come and gone over the years but he has been constant and only going stronger. In 2017, Federer came up as a rejuvenated force. I think the right balance of playing not too many but sufficient amount of tournaments helped him a great deal.

He has great fitness but there are fitter players than him these days. So, consuming the energy and playing with sense and experience also played a key role behind his performance to win two grand slams this year.

But the most interesting part of Roger Federer’s game is the way with which he approaches the game. I spoke to him in Dubai and he told me an amazing thing. He stated that in tennis every player loves to win and no one wants to lose. But his psychology has always been to play ‘the best tennis of his ability.’ He told me that he still believes that and he has always had the faith that if he can do that, nine out of ten times he would be the eventual winner. He was open to the fact that winning and losing are part of the game, but how well you are playing, that is important. And that is the difference between him and the other players.

India’s best ever FIFA ranking in 20 years


Renedy Singh (Indian football legend): Indeed a great thing to see the ranking. Though, I never give too much importance in rankings. I am rather happy with the way the youngsters have utilized their chances to showcase their talent in international level. There have been 5 players in the team who played the key roles and they are Sunil Chettri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Jeje and Sandesh Jhingan. But Sunil have been an inspiration for all. He has been an amazing role model in Indian football. He is in his 30s and still going stronger. He is scoring goals in both club and international level and winning games for his teams respectively.

At the same time I would like to say that the standard of teams we are playing against are not at all up to the mark. You cannot develop in international level if you keep playing teams like Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. Canada is below us in FIFA ranking, but do you think we can beat them? The answer is of course ‘no’. I am not saying that we are now ready to play against the likes of Japan and Iran, but we should start playing teams like Thailand, Singapore and UAE, who are better sides but not much ahead of us in terms of quality. If we can do that regularly, we would get the results as well.

Virat Kohli’s record breaking year


Sreevats Goswami (Won U19 World Cup in Virat’s captaincy): Well, the growth of Virat Kohli as a batsman since we won the U19 World Cup has been remarkable. Of course, in U19 level you don’t have much idea about your future. But Virat took full advantage off the chances he got. Except the England Tour a few years back, he has never failed in international level. His team who works behind him in terms of his PR and other things, also played a stupendous part. That is why he was able to deliver his entire concentration on his batting and of course in his game.

Particularly in 2017, his game has gone to a different altitude. The role and responsibility of the captaincy in fact have made him an even better performer. He has always enjoyed performing under pressure and that has been his biggest strength. He loves taking new challenges and conquering them in flying colours. I wish him even a better year in 2018 and hope he will keep making the country proud.

FIFA U17 World Cup 2017


Joy Bhattacharya (Project Director, FIFA U17 World Cup): When we started the work back in 2017, we had two things in our mind. Firstly, we were trying to do something which would wipe out the bad legacy of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The world used to think that in India, sports was not clean and not transparent and also the fact that we couldn’t host a global sports event of that stature. So our intention was to host a clean tournament, a great tournament and of course a tournament which can give the rest of the world a message oon what we are capable of. In a way, we are successful in doing it I believe.


Secondly, our intention was to focus only on football and not on other things. We invited the daughter in law of the great Shibdas Bhaduri, we only did those things which were relevent to the event rather than focusing on bringing superstars as special guests. The motto was to showcase the game and the best footballing talents of future. I believe we have been successful in doing that as well. Specially, the most football crazy city of the country, Kolkata, was able to witness a few great games. England were the eventual champions and significantly they played the majority of their matches at Kolkata only, Brazil too played a few games and almost all the knock-out games were played at the City of Joy including the final. I feel really happy and proud to be a part of it.


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