Nasrin has been living without her parents for the last 10 years. Her parents got divorced a decade ago and her mother remarried. Nasrin wasn’t welcome in her mother’s new family. Since then, Nasrin has been living with her maternal grandmother Fazila Begum.

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Nasrin conducts her football training in the government primary school right beside her home. To forget the sorrow of not having her parents with her, Nasrin, a 10th standard student in MN High School, searches for happiness through football.

“I often think about my father. A little while back I searched for him but I couldn’t find him. In the last 10 years, my mother has come to see me only once,” said Nasrin.

Nasrin was named the best player in the countrywide women’s age-level football tournament JFA Cup. After that performance, she was included in the Bangladesh Under-15 team for the 2018 SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship. But before she could fly to Bhutan with the team, she tore her knee ligament. The injury threatened to end her career. She needed a lot of money for a knee operation.

At the lowest point of Nasrin’s life, Rangpur’s Police Superintendent at the time Biplob Kumar Sarkar extended a helping hand. He bore all of the medical expenses and gave Nasrin’s budding career a lifeline.

Nasrin’s coach Milon Khan expressed his gratitude to the police official, “Biplob sir was here one day to see the girls play. There he got to know that due to injuries Nasrin and another footballer from Rangpur Rumi’s career is at a halt. Then he said that he would bear all the medical expenses of the two footballers. I will never forget what sir did for them.”

After recovering from injury, Nasrin once again started to dazzle on the football pitch. In last year’s Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib National Gold Cup Football Tournament, an U-17 competition for girls, Rangpur defeated Mymensingh division to be crowned champions. Nasrin scored the only goal of the match and was named the player of the final. She was also the highest goal-scorer in the tournament with four goals.

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After the tournament, Nasrin was called up for a trial with 39 other promising players from the competition. There she once again proved her ability and earned a ticket to train in Portugal.

Nasrin had regrets of not playing in Bhutan. But now she is excited to go to Cristiano Ronaldo’s country to learn about football, “I used to think that I would never get to play football again. But I have returned to the playing field. More than me, my grandmother was happier that I would get football training in Portugal.”

Nasrin has been fighting all her life. But she has overcome every challenge life has thrown at her so far. With a football under her boot, Nasrin dreams of reaching the skies.

*This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ashfaq-Ul-Alam Niloy.

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