Like so many of our stars, Ngangom Bala Devi is from an idyllic village—Irengbam in her case. Known for sugarcane farms, it is in Manipur’s Bishnupur district. And like so many sports stars, the Indian women’s football team captain is setting a new benchmark, signing an 18-month contract with the Scottish Women’s Premier League club, Rangers. Before she was off to Scotland, the 30-year-old forward spoke to Jayanta Oinam.
Who helped you?
I liked the experience of playing in Spain during the COTTIF Cup and wanted to play in one of the European leagues. In November (2019), Anuj Kichlu of Women In Sports (WINS) contacted me for a trial at Rangers, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Women In Sports helped me.
You are 30. How far will this move take you?
This has come at a great time in my career. This move will help my game grow.
Which is the best women’s league?
A lot is happening in women’s football across the world. In India, it is coming up. No favourite leagues, but I am looking forward to the Scottish League now.
What/who inspires you?
I have grown up seeing my father and brother play. My sister and I played together. As a child I would watch Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on TV. All of them inspired me to improve my game. Playing with my seniors in the team helped me learn a lot.