Rakib aims to make his mark with Kings as BPL kicks-off on Friday
Like so many things, the curtain-raiser of the Bangladesh domestic season – The Independence Cup had fallen under the radar amidst the ongoing FIFA World Cup frenzy.
It was no surprise that reigning Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings with their star-studded lineup further reinforced with major signings clinched the Independence Cup after failing to grab hold of the trophy for consecutive seasons.
With four goals in six matches, newly-signed Kings winger Rakib Hossain was adjudged the player of the tournament as he put behind some quality foreign players. His teammate striker Dorielton Gomes, who also made the switch from Abahani Ltd, topped the scoring charts with nine goals and Kings talisman Robson De Silva came in second with six.
24-year-old winger, Rakib, was however surprised to have received the accolade and deemed the achievement one of the highlights of his career.
"I am very happy to have become the player of the tournament, especially after putting behind many of the foreign players," Rakib told The Daily Star on Wednesday.
The Bangladesh Premier League will kickstart proceedings on Friday and with the new season in mind Rakib is eyeing to transfer his tournament form to the league as Kings, who have won a hattrick of BPL titles, would be hoping to win a rare feat of a treble.
"Last year, I won two trophies for Abahani but could not complete the treble. But this time I want to be a treble winner with Bashundhara Kings," Rakib, who won the double with Abahani, said.
"As the expectation is high on me after the Independence Cup's performance, I want to carry that performance to the league. I don't want to set any goal-scoring targets in the league because goals will come if I can perform well," he added.
After a successful 2021-22 season Abahani, Rakib, who made his debut for the national team in 2019, signed for three-time champions Bashundhara Kings for the upcoming season citing his desire to become a better player.
"I have come to Bashundhara Kings to perform better. To be honest, I have an endless desire to prove myself," the 24-year-old footballer said.
Having scored just three goals in the previous season, Rakib believes he has improved his goal-scoring tally but is looking forward to getting much sharper in front of goal for the upcoming season.
"In the past, I missed a lot of goal-scoring opportunities due to the hesitation to shoot. I have significantly improved this ability but I believe there is room for improvement," Rakib said while evaluating himself as a forward.
The fast and feisty right-footed winger began his footballing journey in his locality in Barishal before taking part in the competitive school football tournaments.
He then continued his progress and joined Dhaka's Third Division Football League before being picked up by Bangladesh Police FC, who were playing in the second-tier, the Bangladesh Championship League.
In the 2017-18 season, he joined Victoria SC in the same league.
After a couple of stints with BCL sides, Rakib earned his top-tier break as Rahmatganj MFS came calling for the 2018-19 season. Since that move, he never looked back and continued his climb up the ladder. This rise saw him score a move to Chattogram Abahani where he played for two seasons. His performances paid dividends as he was nicked by six-time BPL champions Abahani in the previous season when he found the net three times for the Sky Blues.