Nilambur: A video featuring a group of four students carrying out a free-kick routine during a football game at GLP School, Poolappadam, in Kerala's Malappuram district has gone viral on social media with football personalities, including World Cup-winner Lothar Matthaus, Columbian women's team player Melissa Ortiz showering praises.
In the video, the fourth standard students - M V Pratyush, Lukman Hakim, M Aslaf and Adil – deceive their opponents with well-executed decoy runs before the final player lobs the ball above the defensive wall and into the back of the net as a hapless goalkeeper looks on.
The video was brought to the fore by the fans' brigade of Kerala Blasters, Manjappada. Shortly after it was shared by 433, one of the largest football communities on the social media site Instagram. It has already amassed 5.2 million views.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool's free-kick specialist known for his lethal precision, too was all praise for the young kids.
This is the second such video to emerge out of Nilambur, a quaint little town in northern Kerala known for its love for football among other things. In November, a video of kids voting and pooling money to buy a football too had touched a chord with the community.
While the video also gives a glimpse into the reality of sports education in the remote villages of Kerala – the kids are playing barefoot, in their uniforms, and in conditions that many would deem unfit for play to happen, there's no questioning the joyful abandon with which the kids play and their passion for the game. The nine-second video then is also a testament to the power of football.
The video was first uploaded by the GLP School physical trainer Sreeju.