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NxGn India: Meet N Sivasakthi - The prodigy with an appetite for goals

04:18 BST 08/04/2020
Sivasakthi
The youngster from Tamil Nadu has been scoring goals galore in the youth circuit...

As part of our NxGn India series, Goal takes a closer look at the most promising young talents in the country. Having revealed the ten potential stars who have found a place in this year's list, it's time for an in-depth peek at these players who could play a huge part in the country's future.

Next up is a youngster from Tamil Nadu who has an enviable goalscoring record at youth level and looks set to be one to watch out for. Raman Vijayan Soccer School (RVSS) product N Sivasakthi is in focus after a wonderful couple of seasons of late.

Though the 18-year-old striker is yet to play senior football, he has caught the imagination of many with his appetite for goals. Turning out in the colours of RVSS, Sivasakthi scored 10 goals in 12 games in All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Elite League in 2017-18 at the age of 16. He went on to score 22 goals in the next season, a record tally, to win the Golden Boot. He followed it up with 17 goals in the current season before it was curtailed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He has been averaging well over a goal per game - numbers that are clearly impressive.

Sivasakthi hails from a humble background in Karaikudi in Southern Tamil Nadu and his prodigious talent was spotted early by RVSS who brought him to Chennai on a full scholarship.

He has flourished ever since and has gone from strength to strength.

"He has been our main player not just in the Elite League but he has been playing well in other tournaments also like the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports and the national school and collegiate tournaments. Even in the toughest tournaments, if we play six-seven games, he would’ve scored 8-10 goals and will feature in the topscorers’ list," Raja Rajan, the head coach at RVSS, told Goal.

He was the golden boot winner in the RFYS football tournament in the senior boys category with nine goals during the 2018-19 season. Significantly, RVSS crashed out in the group stages but that was enough for the 18-year-old to top the scoring charts.

The youngster might not be the most dominant figure as a striker but his strengths are his dribbling skills, agility, immaculate ball control and an eye for the spectacular.

"Though he does not have physique, he holds his own against bigger defenders. That is because he has been playing against physically stronger defenders for a long time now and has been scoring goals against them. So I don't think it is going to be an issue. For his playing style, his physique will not be a huge problem," said Raja Rajan.

Sivasakthi's ability to lead a team has also been noteworthy. RVSS are not exactly the strongest youth team there is but Sivasakthi's goals have propelled them in national tournaments.

Such exploits has already seen a few I-League and ISL clubs register their interest in him.

If Sivasakthi continues to improve at this rate and keep his head down and work hard in what are a crucial few years ahead, we could very well have a serious talent on our hands.