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Rangers sign Ngandom Bala Devi making history

Ngandom Bala Devi becomes the first Indian woman to join a top-flight European club

February 4, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Ngandom Bala Devi breaks the ice as she is the first Indian player to play for a club in a top-flight European league.

This 2020 January women's transfer window has been an exciting one especially for players from the Asia Football Confederation. An influx of Australian players in the FA Women's Super League was started by the Matildas' captain, Sam Kerr, and proceeded by Haley Raso, Chloe Logarzo and Caitlin Foord. South Korean Jeon Ga-Eul joined Bristol City and the Japanese Kumi Yojoyama joined the Washington Spirit. But then there is Ngangom Bala Devi, a 29-year-old who is now the first Indian player to sign for a club in a top-flight European league.

The Indian forward opened the doors to Europe as she signed an 18-month deal with the Scottish side, Rangers, on January 30. She is also the first AFC player to join Rangers in club history.

Devi is the most prolific striker in India's national team history recording 52 goals in 58 appearances since 2010. She has compiled different awards during her time in India including three SAFF Women's Championships and two gold medals at the South Asia Games. In terms of personal awards, Devi has claimed AIFF Women's Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

The Manipur native's move is great for her, but also for young Indian women as the U-17 national team is set to host the 2020 U-17 Women's World Cup.

"The rate at which women's football is moving forward (in the country), I hope to see more of these young girls following me to Europe and improving the national team in the future," Devi said according to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) press release.

She last played for her hometown team Manipur Police and Surprisingly enough, she also works as a policewoman for the Manipur Police department, but she will be off duty for the next year-and-a-half.

Devi has received a lot of support in social media since the announcement.

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