Tulsidas Balaram (30 November 1936 – 16 February 2023), also known as Tulsidas Balaraman, was a footballer from India and a true legend of Indian football. He captained the East Bengal team in the 1961-62 season, leaving an indelible mark on the field. He breathed his last in Kolkata, India, on 16th February 2023. With his outstanding skills and exceptional contribution, he is regarded as one of the greatest football strikers in India.
Let’s have a look at Tulsidas Balaram’s achievements and highlights of his football career.
- Arjuna Award: In 1962, Balaram received the prestigious Arjuna Award from the Government of India for his incredible contribution to the game.
- International Career Goals: Balaram scored 10 goals in his 27 international appearances for the Indian national team. His performances against international teams are no less spectacular. He was one of the prime components of India’s Gold winning team of the 1962 Asian Games. He played every single game and scored goals against Thailand and Japan.
- Asian Games: Tulsidas Balaram’s best game for India came against Hong Kong in the 1958 Asian Games. The match went into extra time after the scoreline was 2–2 during normal time. Balaram showed peak performance in extra time, assisting two goals and scoring once as India ran out 5–2 victors.
- Clubs and Tournaments: Balaram made his mark playing football for the East Bengal of Kolkata, and captained the team from 1961–62. He was one of the best players of the golden age of Indian football of the 1950s and 1960s. His playing position was as a centre forward or as a left winger. In 1963, Balaram retired from football due to health-related issues.
- Santosh Trophy: Balaram won the Santosh Trophy three times, with Hyderabad in 1956-57 and with Bengal in 1959-60 and 1961-62.
- IFA Shield: Balaram won the IFA Shield with East Bengal in 1958, 1961, and 1962.
- Merdeka Cup: Balaram was the runner-up in the 1959 Merdeka Cup.
- Skills and Legacy: Tulsidas Balaram was a complete player and could’ve fitted very well into today’s total football. He could dribble, he could score, and he had a brilliant header. Balaram was probably the best in Asia in his days. He was known for having incredible partnerships with Chuni Goswami and P. K. Banerjee, the “Indian football’s holy trinity.” He was also the heart of his teams, directing every attacking move.
Tulsidas Balaram was a man of pure talent and heart. He brought joy to millions of Indian football fans with his exceptional football skills. He played the game with passion, skill, and dedication, and he left behind a legacy that will live forever. Tulsidas Balaram was a true inspiration and will continue to be an inspiration to generations to come. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest Indian footballers of all time. The Indian football community has lost one of its greats, but his memories will always remain alive. Rest in peace, Tulsidas Balaram!
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