The diminutive striker who captained India with distinction

As far as legendary footballers from the state of Goa are concerned, Bruno Coutinho is a name which is right up there.As a 14-year-old from Monte de Guirim school, he was spotted by his coach Paul Raj and further honed his striking skills under Salvador Fernandes. He scored thrice in his first game and he went on to win the U-17 Subroto Mukherjee Football tournament with his school.And even though he started off his senior club career with Dempo SC in 1988 (then known as Dempo Engineering) and had another stint with them in 1991, Coutinho will always be apotheosised as a Salgaocar FC (1981-1991, 1992-2002) legend. "When I played for Dempo, I was the highest scorer in the league for them," the 50-year- old recalled in a coversation with Goal . Coutinho first represented India at the age of 18 at the Asian School Games held in Brunei in 1987, captained the Indian U-23 side at the Pre-Olympics qualifiers in 1991 before making his senior international debut at the President's World Cup in Dhaka in 1989 He last represented the country in the Millennium Cup in Kochi in 2001 – the year he won the Arjuna Award.He captained India at the 1995 SAF Games (South Asian Games) in Chennai and the 1996 Asia Cup in Malaysia. He scored in the semifinal and final to lead the country to victory in the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) championships at Fatorda in 1999. It was also the last time he captained the national team.At the state level, he represented Goa more than 10 times in Santosh Trophy and was adjudged the "Player of the Tournament" in 1999. This led to the state government awarding him with the Kerkar Award for his contribution to the sport.During his time at Salgaocar, he helped the team winning the Federation Cup (1997), Rovers Cup (1989, 1996), Taca Goa title (1989) and the National Football League title (1998).  EMBED ONLY Bruno Coutinho Salgaocar "class =" JsEnabled_Op (0) JsEnabled_Bg (n) Trsdu (.42s) Bgr (nr) Bgz (cv) Maw (100%) "itemprop =" url "style =" background-image: url ( TWqm0PFOhbmWiy9b0omkDg-- ~ A / YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw / https: // "." .gif "data-reactid =" 24 "/> <img alt=

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