BHUTANESE RON­ALDO

Not ev­ery player can achieve global fame – some be­come house­hold names in just the one coun­try. Meet the un­known su­per­stars

Australian Four Four Two - - UNKNOWN SUPERSTARS -

“Most peo­ple know me in Bhutan

and peo­ple ex­pect a lot from me,” Chen­cho Gyelt­shen tells With nick­names in­clud­ing ‘the Ron­aldo

of Bhutan’ and ‘CG7’, it’s no won­der. Gyelt­shen is only 19 years old, but

he is al­ready re­spon­si­ble for the great­est mo­ment in the his­tory of the Bhutanese na­tional team. The Dragon Boys were

in the bot­tom two places in the FIFA rank­ings as re­cently as 2002, when

they faced Montser­rat in a spe­cially ar­ranged match dubbed ‘the other World Cup fi­nal’ (the Asian side won 4-0) 4-0). But

a year ago, Gyelt­shen’s two goals against Sri Lanka Lanka, pic­tured, meant Bhutan progress pro­gressed through a World Cup qual­i­fy­ing round for the first time.

True, the Hi­malayan coun­try have since

been thrashed 15-0 and 12-0 in the group stage, but that has done noth­ing to di­min­ish Gyelt­shen’s pop­u­lar­ity. The teenager never at­tempts to shake off the ‘Ron­aldo of Bhutan’ tag – in fact he ac­tively en­cour­ages it, with his love for the Por­tuguese star so deep that he wears the same shirt num­ber, slips into the Real Madrid man’s CR7 boots, and

even sports the same slicked-back hair­style. “Cris­tiano Ron­aldo is my idol and ev­ery­thing I do is what Ron­aldo does,” Gyelt­shen says. “Of course, many

peo­ple adore him, but I am one crazy fan

of him. I wear No.7 be­cause my idol wears

the same. Peo­ple in my coun­try of­ten com­pare me to Ron­aldo and I feel proud to have that nick­name.”

FourFourTwo.

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