Manipuri’s 17-year-old defender Bikash Yumnam has become the first Indian footballer to make it to The Guardian’s Next Generation List – a list of the best young footballers from across the globe.

The list is published annually by the newspaper and it has been running since 2014 and has featured some of the most exciting football talents from across the world.

Speaking about his selection to ESPN, the young footballer said, “I am both happy and surprised but I am also realistic. I am still at the start of my career.”

“There’s still a very long way for me to go. They aren’t saying I’ve reached the top level, they only say I have the potential to get to the top level,” Yumnam added.

Yumnam, who plays for Punjab FC, has been placed along with players from Manchester City, PSG, Real Madrid Arsenal, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

“…Composed on the ball, a great reader of the game, and capable of excellent, fast, long throw-ins, the teenager has already been earmarked for a quick progression to the full international side,” The Guardian said while speaking about Yumnam.

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