Minerva Punjab(currently known as Punjab FC) are one of the most successful clubs in India. Under the reign of Mr. Ranjit Bajaj, Minerva academy produced a lot of young talents who introduced themselves to the international level as well. Minerva Punjab were crowned as the champions of I-League in the 2017-18 season. Here is a list of Top 5 Minerva academy’s graduates, who established themselves firmly in Indian football.
1. Manvir Singh (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Manvir Singh is a prolific forward who will wear ATK Mohun Bagan’s colours in the upcoming season of ISL. The ex-FC Goa man is a youth product of Minerva academy who initially signed a professional contract for the first time with the CFL Club – Mohammedan S.C in July of 2016. He came into limelight when he scored the only goal in the game against Goa in the 2017 Santosh trophy final, hence helping West Bengal to lift the coveted domestic trophy. On 28th July 2017, he signed for FC Goa in the Indian Super League and made 47 appearances in his three-year stint with them.
The 24-year-old scored 3 goals for FC Goa in his stint and shared the dressing room with marvellous players like Ferran Corominas and Hugo Boumous. On 19th August 2017, Stephen Constantine (Ex-Indian football team manager) handed him his international debut against Mauritius where he came on as an 87th-minute substitute for Jeje Lalpekhlua as India won the match 2-1.
After scoring his first international goal against Maldives in the 2018 SAFF Championship, the next two goals came in semifinals of the same tournament against arch-rivals Pakistan. Manvir Singh won the first ISL Shield and later qualified for AFC Champions League with FC Goa – the first Indian team to do so. He was contracted to play for FC Goa for another year, but ATK-MB paid the hefty transfer fee of 80 lakh rupees and hence acquired the forward’s services.