India’s star footballer Ngangom Bala Devi creates history by becoming the first Indian woman to score in a top-tier professional league in Europe. Ngangom Bala Devi was the first Indian woman to sign a professional football contract overseas. Playing for Rangers FC, Devi scored against Motherwell in the 85th minute, helping her side eventually take down the opposition 9-0. She also won the second penalty for Rangers in the 68th minute.

Hailing from Manipur, Ngangom Bala Devi, who plays as a forward for the Scottish Women’s Premier League club, signed the overseas professional football contract in January 2020. She started her career at the age of 15 after a childhood spent playing football with mainly boys. She was selected to be part of the Manipur U19 team for the 2002 Under-19 Women’s Championship, where she was declared the best player of the tournament.

The 30- year old Manipuri footballer made her debut for Rangers FC in February in the team’s 3-0 win over Hearts Women FC in the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL).

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Bala who had captained Indian women’s football team made headlines earlier in January this year when she joined the Scottish club – making her the first Indian woman to sign a professional football contract overseas. She also became the first Asian international to join Rangers Women.

 

Ngangom Bala Devi has also won three SAFF Championship trophies in the years 2010, 2014 and 2016. In the 2014 sports edition, she scored 16 goals in just five matches. She managed to find the net four times in the final as India defeated Nepal 6–0 to claim their third straight SAFF Championship crown.

Bala is the current top scorer for the Indian national women’s team, netting an impressive 52 times in 58 games since 2010, which also makes her the top international goal scorer in the South Asian region.

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