It was the year 1970, post the golden era of Indian football. The Indian national football team had bagged back-to-back bronze medals in two of the major tournaments held back then. They secured podium finishes in the 1970 Merdeka Cup held in Malaysia, and the 1970 Asian Games held in Bangkok.
Magan Singh Rajvi’s breakthrough
The 1970 Merdeka Cup was the second professional tournament, after the same in 1969, in which Magan Singh Rajvi had featured for his nation. India had managed to win their games against South Vietnam and Malaysia in the group stages, but they had lost to Taiwan and Burma. Their match against Western Australia was the decider in the group stage. That’s when Rajasthan’s very own wunderkind, Magan Singh Rajvi, stepped up for his nation and scored a brace with flair to take India through to the semi-finals. Little did the prodigy know that it was just the start of his path to glory. With that brace, Magan Singh Rajvi’s hunger for goals started to increase, and he eventually scored another brace against Hong Kong, which secured India their 3rd place in the tournament.
Four months after the Merdeka Cup, the 1970 Asian Games took place in Bangkok. This tournament also saw the prodigy bagging goals to his name at the international level. Magan Singh Rajvi netted the ball against South Vietnam in the group stages and Indonesia in the qualifiers. In the fullness of time, India secured the 3rd position in the tournament. This is, to date, recognised as one of the best feats of India in its history of football, especially during the post-golden era. And this was the last medal India could acquire in football in Asian Games; this was the last time India made a mark in continental level.
Magan Singh Rajvi’s international records
Magan Singh Rajvi’s first international goal was against Singapore in the 1969 Merdeka Cup. His first and only international hat-trick came against Thailand at the 1974 Merdeka Cup, becoming the 6th hat-trick scorer for India. In the same tournament, he had also scored against Malaysia and Hong Kong. Magan Singh Rajvi has a total of 15 goals to his name in 33 appearances for the national team. His goals were from the Merdeka Cup competitions held in the years 1969, 70’, 71’, 73’ & 74’, Asian Games competitions held in the years 1970 & 74’, and the 1972 Olympic Qualification rounds.
Magan Singh Rajvi’s club performance
During his illustrious career, Magan Singh Rajvi had also featured for both the Kolkata giants, Mohun Bagan A.C. and East Bengal F.C. He, plausibly, was also a part of both the giants that had won the IFA Shield, Calcutta Football League and Durand Cup back then. He had also plied his trade for Salgaocar F.C.
In 1973-74, Magan Singh Rajvi played alongside his brother Chain Singh Rajvi, leading the lines as captain and vice-captain, respectively, for Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) Bikaner Football Team and pulled off an incredible upset in the semi-finals of Durand Cup beating East Bengal F.C. to finish off as the runners-up of the tournament. East Bengal F.C. had won all other major trophies in India that season. RAC Bikaner, in keeping with the excellent history established by other police teams in the past, such as the Hyderabad Police, had won the hearts of many football fans in Delhi. Magan Singh Rajvi was well-liked by the Durand crowd.
Currently, Magan Singh Rajvi is a retired Superintendent of Police at the RAC Bikaner Range. He is from Dheengsari, a place 60 kilometres from Bikaner. He is a relative of Maharaja Karni Singh of Bikaner, who won the Arjun Award for shooting in 1961.
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