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Rediff.com  » Sports » On the football field or ramp... this Indian footballer is a hit!

On the football field or ramp... this Indian footballer is a hit!

October 16, 2014 08:10 IST

This 23-year-old footballer exhibits glamour and style. Prathamesh Maulingkar, says Laxmi Negi, made heads turn at the recent India Fashion Week.

Prathamesh Maulingkar

Prathamesh Maulingkar poses during the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi. Photograph: Courtesy Facebook

The world’s most-watched sport not only has the most popular players, but also the most stylish.

These football superstars exhibit glamour and style.

In sport, especially football, fan following and popularity does not depend on performances on the field alone. The glamour factor plays a big role in attracting fans and attention.

Prathamesh Maulingkar

Prathamesh Maulingkar walks the ramp during the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi. Photograph: Courtesy: Facebook

Indian footballers, however, seem to lag behind on this front. But Prathamesh Maulingkar is one of the rare, but fast-emerging, breed of players who are stylish, suave and smart both on and off the field.

The 23-year-old, who plies his trade for Dempo Sports Club in the I-League since 2013, recently walked the ramp for designer Wendell Rodricks’s collection Yoga Calm, on the fourth day of the Spring/Summer edition of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in Delhi.

Prathamesh Maulingkar

Prathamesh Maulingkar during the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi. Photograph: Courtesy: Facebook

Standing 6 ft 2 inches tall and armed with killer looks and hunky physique, style comes to him naturally as he delves details into his recent claim to fame.

"A friend of mine introduced me to Wendell. As I wasn't training, because I had got operated for appendicitis, I thought I would give ramp-walking a shot. As it turned out, Wendell liked me and asked me to walk for him for the WIFW in New Delhi, and like they say, the rest is history!”

This central defender made his India Under-23 debut against Iraq in 2012 during qualification for the 2013 Asian Football Confederation's Under-22 Asian Cup. Since then he's working hard on improving his game.

Prathamesh Maulingkar

Prathamesh Maulingkar, right, with Wendell Rodricks, centre, during the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi. Photograph: Courtesy: Facebook

He says, “I have done a few shoots in Goa, but this was my first major assignment.”

Prathamesh Maulingkar

Prathamesh Maulingkar during the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi. Photograph: Courtesy: Facebook

Quiz him whether he is hooked on to the glamour industry, and pat comes the reply with a wicked giggle: "If I had an option to choose between football and modelling? That's a bit confusing. So I'm trying to do both. Let's see if it works out.”

Other than his style of play, what adds to his overall personality is his snazzy outlook and trendy hairstyle.

Maulingkar, though, is grateful to his mentor for getting him on the fashion scene.

"It was my first time that I ever walked on the ramp and I was a bit nervous. But Wendell was very supportive and guided me very well.”

Prathamesh Maulingkar

Prathamesh Maulingkar, centre with Dempo SC chairman Srinivas Dempo, right. Photograph: Courtesy: Dempo SC/Facebook

Till now, only the Sunil Chettri, captain of the Indian football team, has been featured in Maxim and Men’s Health magazines. With Maulingkar’s foray into modeling, Indian football fans have an added dose of much-needed glamour in the game.

Laxmi Negi