Aniket Jadhav is a name that rose to prominence after the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India where he was part of the first ever Indian team to play in a World Cup event.
However, the Kolhapur-based youngster's journey began much before that. He was one of the 10 players from India to participate in the 2014 FC Bayern Munich Youth Cup World Finals - a tournament held by adidas India and supported by Qatar Airways - in Munich.
As a 14-year-old, he represented Pune FC's U-16 team that defeated Bengaluru FC 4-2 via penalty shoot-outs to win the India Finals of the Bayern Munich Youth Cup where he was watched closely by former German footballer Paul Breitner. Jadhav won the Golden Boot award and scored two goals in the final.
Jadhav retains fond memories of that particular trip and remains grateful to Brietner for providing him the opportunity.
“I played at a good level and was happy to go to Munich. I played against some top players at the tournament in Munich. It was really good to be recognized by a legend like Paul Brietner back then,” he was quoted post his German sojourn.
Ever since then, Aniket Jadhav continued to live his big football dream and excelled in various tournaments, proving his mettle.
Apart from considerable success with Pune FC in youth football, Aniket Jadhav was selected for U-17 Indian national team when he was successfully shortlisted after trials in Mumbai in 2015. Traveling around the world with the India U-17 World Cup squad on preparatory camps, he scored a hat-trick against Austrian opponents AKA Tirol U-16 team, a goal and an assist against Super Sports United U-18 team from South Africa besides scoring in a 3-0 win over second division Norwegian club Ullensaker U-16 team.
His performances earned him a place in the 2016 AIFF (All India Football Federation) Youth Cup and eventually in the U-17 World Cup. Among other major tournaments in his international career, he represented the country in the 2016 Granatkin Tournament in Russia and the 2016 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) U-16 Championship. Post the U-17 World Cup, he was also awarded a three-month training spell at the Blackburn Rovers.
Currently contracted with Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Jamshedpur FC, he is on loan at Indian Arrows whom he has represented in the last two seasons of the I-League. For Aniket Jadhav, it had all begun with the FC Bayern Youth Cup.
Now as the FC Bayern Youth Cup enters its eighth edition, Bengaluru's Army Boys School will be representing India at the World Finals in Munich after beating fellow Bengaluru side DPS East 2-1 in the India Finals earlier in February.
In the FC Bayern Youth Cup India 2018-19, over 250 schools and more than 2,000 talented youth players had participated in the tournament from where 10 schools from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and the for the first time ever, Srinagar, had secured qualification for the India finals.
10 boys from the winning team will represent 'Team India' at the 2019 FC Bayern Youth Cup World Finals and train under the watchful eyes of professional coaches from Bayern Munich. The trip to Munich will also offer an extensive learning opportunity and international exposure for the young talents to help pursue their football dreams.
During their stay in Munich, the young players from around the world will meet FC Bayern first team players, visit the last home game of FC Bayern’s first team at the Allianz Arena and play the tournament at the world famous stadium.