15 August 2023, Mumbai: A bronze medallist in the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok under the captaincy of fellow Hyderabadi Syed Nayeemuddin and manager PK Banerjee, Habib has represented the big three of Kolkata Maidan – Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting in his heydays.
The entire football fraternity of Hyderabad and India was plunged into grief when the news broke this evening that Mohammed Habib, former Indian football captain and Arjuna award winner, passed away in his city on Tuesday. He was 72.Habib played as a forward for the Indian team and formed a lethal combination with his younger brother Mohammed Akbar. The duo from Hyderabad struck terror into the hearts of many foreign teams. Habib who was known as the Bade Mian of Eden Gardens ground in Kolkata, played for the Indian team from 1965 to 1975.
One of the best players the country has ever produced
But he had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years and his family members were caring for him. During his playing days he was considered by many experts as one of the best players the country has ever produced.In 1977 when he played for Mohun Bagan against the star studded Cosmos club of New York, his game was praised by Pele who was playing for the Cosmos club. Habib scored one goal in that match off a pass from his brother Akbar.
He won a bronze medal at the Asian Games.
Habib represented India in several international tournaments. He won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in 1970. On that occasion, another Hyderabadi footballer Syed Naeemuddin was the captain of the team.Represented Bengal in the Santosh trophy.
Although Habib hailed from Hyderabad, he represented Bengal in the Santosh trophy because he had joined the big clubs in Calcutta (now Kolkata) at that time.In the season of 1969-70, while playing for Bengal, Habib won the national title. He finished as top-scorer with eleven goals, including two hat-tricks against Madras and Services.
Chief coach of the Indian Football Association’s training academy After playing football, Habib became coach of the Tata Football Academy. He also acted as chief coach of the Indian Football Association’s training academy in Haldia in West Bengal. As a manager, he also guided Mohammedan Sporting club in domestic competitions from 1999 to 2005. He coached Bengal-Mumbai FC in the Mumbai football league for one year.
By ASC Priya