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Million Dollar Kick: Different kind of 'football' awaits six Indians in US

Million Dollar Kick: Different kind of 'football' awaits six Indians in US

New Delhi: Six Indians have been picked for a National Football League (NFL) training camp in the USA.

Raju Vasudev Haldankar, a Goan footballer who has never flown in an airplane in his life, was the winner of the National Finals of the 'Million Dollar Kick' Season One.

The 22-year-old, who came to Sesa Football Academy and played for Salgaocar, will now proceed to the US for training and hopefully a career in NFL as a kicker.

The Finals was the culmination of City Try Outs in Delhi, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Shillong, Dehradun and Lucknow.

Apart from a trip to US for training and a chance to make the big league, Haldankar also received a prize of USD 5,000 (equivalent of just over Rs. 3.3 lakh) besides gifts from Oakley eyewear and Jio phones.

Haldankar won the National Finals at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, where it all began a month ago, with a neat 55-yard kick.

The first and second runner-up were Dylan D'Costa, who was earlier a wildcard from South Goa Try Out, and Gnanendrasinh Jhala, winner of the Ahmedabad Try Out.

Representing a diverse background, Haldankar is a regular footballer with a local club; Gnanendrasinh Jhala, 30, works at the AG Office in Rajkot and Dylan D'Costa is a 17-year-old student in Goa and keen football player.

Apart from the three winners, the organisers also picked three other 'potential stars'. They are another Goan, Elton Godinho, also a 'wildcard' in Goa Try Outs, Gorakhpur's Mukesh Singh, winner of Lucknow Try Out, and the phenomenally talented Arshad Khan, a Lucknow goalkeeper, who won the first Try Out in Delhi. 

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