‘It seemed as if it was a dream’ – Shillong Lajong’s Eugeneson Lyngdoh, on his Budweiser Cup experience at Old Trafford in 2009

The Shillong Lajong player was a part of the team that won the 2009 Indian edition of the Budweiser 6v6 Cup, and represented the nation in the global tournament, held in Manchester

The Budweiser 6v6 Cup gives youngsters a chance to taste football at the very top level. When the tournament was held in 2009, the Indian leg winners were a Pune based team, ‘Cedrick’s 8’.

Considering that Pune did not really have a thriving local football league, their triumph was a bit surprising. One of the members of the team was a certain Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who has since then, gone on to become a regular fixture in the Shillong Lajong side.

Speaking exclusively to Goal.com, the midfielder re-lived those moments, when he represented the nation at the main tournament held in England, at no other place but on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford itself!

Revealing how he was made a part of the team, Lyngdoh stated, “I was actually in the university team, and that’s how I came in contact with the others in the team. They called me up to be a part of the side.”

When quizzed whether they were surprised to end up as national champions, the Lajong midfielder said, “Well we were not surprised, but we did well. There were teams from different states, and we didn’t expect anything, though the intention of course was to win it.”

He then went on to explain the entire trip to Manchester, and how it was almost like living a dream.

The Indian team with Sir Bobby Charlton...

“The experience was different, it was like a shock. I didn’t expect it, it just seemed as if it was a dream that lasted for a split second and we were back in India. It went so fast!"

Regarding his on-field experiences, he revealed, “It was the first time we faced such teams from different national sides, with different styles of play. One of the Middle East teams for example, was physically very strong.  It was good to learn to cope with such physical play.”

About the most precious moments from the trip, Lyngdoh told Goal.com, “I think the chance to meet the Man United players was amazing. Legends like Dennis Irwin, and playing at Old Trafford was a dream.”

The midfielder also feels it played a part in him eventually becoming a professional footballer, while stressing how important such tournaments are for amateur players, to get a taste of football at the top level.

“I could say it played a part (in becoming a footballer).  I think it’s a good thing as a lot of amateurs would like such an experience.  Getting such a chance to play football at a different level is great, and it gets people interested in football,” he concluded.

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