There are very few footballers in Bangladesh who can boast a record of three goals in first 11 international matches. In fact with Bangladesh’s ever-present scoring issue, forwards hardly score in international matches and spend the season at reserve bench of their respective clubs.
Rabiul, however, has proved to be a bit different. The Arambagh forward last season showed his quality under Maruful Haque and has become a go-to-man for national team coach Jamie Day when looking for goals and injection of fresh legs in the latter part of games.
The 20-year-old forward came to everyone’s notice last year when he scored against Cambodia in a FIFA friendly in Phnom Penh. But he scored the most important goal of his fledgling career, and arguably the most important goal for Bangladesh in recent times, in the 1-0 away win against Laos in the first round of World Cup Qualifiers. The slightly-built forward has since added to the tally, scoring against Bhutan in a FIFA friendly in Dhaka recently.
Rabiul is setting his sights on much higher things though.
“I want to be the best player in South Asia and for that I have to be established in the best club of the country,” said the forward who moved from Arambagh to champions Bashundhara Kings in the recent transfer window.
A member of the first batch of the now-defunct Sylhet BFF football academy, Rabiul started his journey in Dhaka football with third-division outfit Dilkusha KC before being quickly poached by Arambagh, where he improved his reputation under Maruful.
The forward sees his recent move to Bashundhara Kings as a just reward. “You have to take challenge if you have to achieve and do something good. If I can’t take the challenge myself, I can’t be a top player. That’s why I came to Bashundhara Kings. Hopefully it will be a good outcome at the end of the season.”
Rabiul heaped praise on his new coach Oscar Bruzon, who he believes has brought ‘European system’ into training drills, which he believes will further his development as a footballer.
“Oscar (Bruzon) is a very good coach. His tactical work is very good, like the European style. The match we played in Salt Lake, if I were in Bashundhara team before, I would have played better because of the way Oscar trained us, making us better players,” Rabiul said.