Rangers Women's Football Club, a Scottish professional soccer club, has announced the signing of Bala Devi, attacker of India’s national women’s football team. The Glasgow-based club took to Twitter to announce the 18-month-deal with Bala Devi from Manipur Police Sports Club, after a successful spell of trial in November.
The signing, subject to international clearance, will make the 29-year-old the first Indian woman to play professional football anywhere in the world and also Rangers’ first Asian international footballer. Bala has not only served as national team captain but also has been the top scorer in the Indian Women’s League for the past two seasons.
In her years of international career, which started at the age of 15, Bala is currently the top scorer for the national team, with 52 goals in 58 games since 2010. At the domestic level, she has scored over 100 goals in 120 games and has been named as All India Football Federation (AIFF) Women’s Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016.
Rangers, in a statement, said that the deal was made possible because of the network provided through its partnership with Bengaluru FC announced in September 2019. “I hope my move to Rangers serves as an example to all the women footballers back home in India who dream of taking up the sport professionally,” said Bala in a statement. Indian football fans showed their excitement after the reports emerged saying they are waiting for Bala to make her debut at the European professional club.
Best luck to rangers FC and bala devi👏👏— Rahul Unofficial (@RahulUnofficia1) January 29, 2020
Indian women's football going on new levels!! Congrats Bala! Somproud of you! Make your team and our nation proud!!— SIR ROHIT SHARMA (@SIRROHITSHARM12) January 29, 2020