From the valleys of Kashmir to Spain: Up close and personal with Asrar Rehbar

From the valleys of Kashmir to playing football in Spain, we bring you an exclusive interview with the young Kashmiri Lad, Asrar Rehbar.

It was a dream come true for the young Kashmiri lad, Asrar Rehbar when he along with Basit Ahmed became the first players from the valleys of Kashmir to play in a foreign league when both were signed for Spanish 3rd Division side Sociedad Deportiva Lenense Proinastur.

Asrar Rehbar at Stamford Bridge

Asrar is also the first Indian to play and score in the 3rd division Spanish League. Rehbar has played as a striker for many Kashmiri clubs during his youth career & he has also represented Kashmir in the Santosh and Durand Cup, and was chosen from among many who took part in trials in coordination with the Jammu and Kashmir football club to travel to Spain.

Asrar proved his caliber by scoring a brace on his debut in Spain. After having a succesfull stint in Spain, Asrar returned to India and signed for the Kashmiri outfit Real Kashmir in the 2nd division I-League. He was part of the Real Kashmir squad which travelled to Scotland for pre-season and helped his team make a comeback against Hamilton by scoring a goal in the dyeing moments of the match.

LNTUP brings you an exclusive interview with the young lad Asrar Rehbar.

Asrar Rehbar during training session

Exclusive Interview with Asrar Rehbar:

LNTUP: What are the problems you have faced while choosing Football as a profession?

Asrar: I have faced many difficulties in my career, I started playing football at the age of 12, I have played in Inter school as well as in national tournaments. I have compromised my studies to play football, I used to be a good student in studies but now I don’t study at all, My parents supported me, but earlier they used to say ‘Padhai’ is more important than football but than when they saw that I was more into football. Than they started supporting me, that was the very plus point which helped me in my career.

LNTUP : Which levels have you played in during your career?

Asrar: I had started playing football at the age of 12 and if I exactly remember when I was in 6th standard I got a call up for the U14 nationals and from then on I have been to 6 National Tournaments, I have also been in the elite academy. I have played thrice in the I-League. I have played in the Second division I-league for 2 years for Lonestar Kashmir and one year for Real Kashmir.

LNTUP : What was your experience playing in Spain?

Asrar: The Spain trip was the best thing I ever had in my entire career, yeah I have faced difficulties as in the style of play its very difficult to adopt to that pace but Allahumdulla, In my debut match I had scored 2 goals and our team won 5 goals to 3. Yeah and I also remember when I was selected for the Spain stint, I could see headlines in every newspaper stating from the shadow of guns to Spain so you can sense what was going on Kashmir at the moment.

LNTUP: What were the difficulties you faced during your stint in Spain?

Asrar: As I earlier said the playing style in Spain was much different compared to India. Those were very fast paced matches. Apart from that the Food, the accommodation was very different and we found difficulty in adjusting first, the most difficult thing that I have ever faced there was the language as they do not know to speak English, so it was very difficult for us to communicate with them.

LNTUP: Would you like to give a message to the viewers?

Asrar: My message to the viewers is to just keep dreaming. Because the people who dream are the achievers one day. Dream big always. Our youth who are interested in playing football should not give up their dream to play because of studies or any hardship and so on. And lastly keep supporting me. Without your prayers I could not have made it this far. Love you all!