Indian football star Pritam Kotal has been praised by a Bangladeshi footballer, whom he helped while the footballer was in Kolkata for surgery. Nabib Newaj Jibon was recently in Kolkata and was here for quite some days during which he underwent a knee surgery at a local hospital.
It was in 2019 that Bangladesh visited Kolkata for their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, with the match ending 1-1 in front of a packed Salt Lake Stadium. One-and-a-half years down the line, one Bangladeshi footballer - Nabib Newaj Jibon was back in the Indian metropolis for medical treatment.
While he underwent surgery and was nearly stationed in the city for a month, he was constantly lent a hand of support by Indian football star Pritam Kotal. The ATK-Mohun Bagan defender, along with his girlfriend Sonela Paul, provided immense mental support to the foreigner who knew no-one in Kolkata apart from the duo.
"Pritam da and Sonela di both provided so much support when I was there in Kolkata. The main thing that they provided me was the mental support. That was very important especially because I was in a city where I did not know anybody,” said Nabib Newaj Jibon, to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
They would even visit the footballer at the hospital and enquire about the requirements of Nabib. Even though both the footballers cross paths before during an international match, they got to know themselves personally only after the Bangladeshi footballer flew down to Kolkata for his treatment.
"They used to visit me every day at the hospital, and at my hotel. I could not move around much after my surgery. But they would often come around and get different things for me - whatever I'd require. They'd even check on whether I've had my meals properly every day, and that meant a lot," added the footballer.