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Manipur's Bala Devi becomes the first Indian Woman Footballer to score in Europe

Ngangom Bala Devi used to play football with boys and worked at the Manipur Police Department too. She joined the Scottish club in January 2020.

Manipur’s Bala Devi becomes the first Indian Woman Football to score in Europe

Sentinel Digital Desk

Imphal: Manipur's Ngangom Bala Devi created history on Sunday by becoming the first Indian woman to score in a professional European football league.

She scored against Motherwell for Rangers FC and won the match 9-0.

Bala Devi plays forward in the game. She joined the Scottish club in January 2020 and became the first Indian woman to sign a professional football contract overseas.

Lauding her achievement, the club had posted few of her match pictures on Twitter.

Before her arrival to Scotland, Bala Devi won three South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship trophies in 2010, 2014 and 2016. She has also received the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Women's Player of the Year award in 2014 and 2015.

In 2019, she had hit the limelight when she scored 26 goals in seven fixtures for Manipur Police in the Indian Women's League (IWL). Furthermore, she has also served as captain for the national team in the past.

She plays for the Scottish Women's Premier League club Rangers and India Women's National football team.

While a semi-professional footballer in India, Devi had also worked as a policeman for the Manipur Police Department.

She completed her education at the Oinam Thambal Mark college in Manipur.

While growing up, she mainly played with boys. She was a part of the Manipur U19 team which took part in the Under-19 Women's Championship in Assam in 2002.

In the tournament, she was declared to be the best player.

She was awarded the same title in the year 2003 too.

Earning the top-scorer label at the under-17 level of her state, she climbed the ladder up to represent the Manipur senior women's team in the India Women's football championship. Her team won the state championship of women's football in 2014, scoring a brace as Manipur defeated Odisha in the final 3-1.

This was Manipur's first championship since 2010 and their 17th overall out of 20.

While playing with Manipur, Devi was teammates with India captain and AIFF Women's Player of Year, Oinam Bembem Devi. She finished the tournament scoring 29 goals in seven matches.

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