As well we all know, India is not a sports nation, nor we care about other sports except Cricket.
I never heard about Baichung Bhutia, but he is the only name known to me from Indian football. So when I saw it at the shop, I immediately brought it.
Sadly, I did not learn much about Baichung.
This is a major drawback of this book. Focus is constantly changing from Baichung to Indian shitty sports management. It seems that author tried to tell about Bhutia but he is unable to tell it without raving about the system.
Then it also lacks continuity. You never enter into the timeline. The writer made it so complicated.
Research is less. Biography requires lots of research. And if there is research, it never came alive. Interviews and quotes from teachers, coaches and relatives. That is all. Where was his personal life ?
He is a football player, but he is not only a football player. There are other aspects of his life. That must be shown.
A good short story : Should Wizard Hit Mommy ?
Writer throw ball from here to there, touch some sensitive issue, lay them there, move ahead without satisfying the need of complete knowledge.
Boringly written. Never I thought that a biography would be so boring. A true sleaping-book.
Bad editing. What kind of chapter division is it? Main chapter I understand, then chapter under chapter do not make sense.
But of course you get to know the face of Indian football, more than you will get from the Internet.
I do not hate Baichung but it really put the Baichung in the negative light. It also accuses many coaches and never clear fog.
If you ask me, read it, but it is not a good biography.
Beyond The Goal: The Official Biography of Baichung Bhutia explains that what Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket in India, Baichung Bhutia is to football, a relatively less popular game in the subcontinent. Nevertheless, the Sikkimese is a household name in India because he was not just the best football player of the nation but also of the entire continent. Indeed, the Sikkimese Sniper, as he is fondly called for his superb shot accuracy, has been winning the hearts of one and all ever since he stepped into the football field in 1993 with his unbelievable skill and charming looks.
Bhutia provides ample fodder for a biography not just because he is a football icon in the continent but also because his career has not been without its fair share of controversies. It is the career path and controversies of Bhutia that the author, Islam, delves into in this book.
The author has touched upon the footballer’s relationships with his coaches, the various clubs he played with during his time and, of course, his much-talked-about retirement. In tracing the high and low points of Bhutia’s football career, what Islam effectively does is give readers a deep insight into the good, bad and ugly of the football world in India.
What also makes Beyond The Goal an enjoyable read is the fact that it features some never before seen pictures of the footballer. In addition, it has some insightful accounts by Bhutia’s fellow sportspersons, including boxer Mary Kom and athlete Sunil Chhetri. The foreword for the text has been written by none other than the cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar.