Joy, excitement, pride: Thoughts of the champion women’s team

Bangladesh women’s team players are still on cloud nine after being crowned champions in the SAFF Women’s Championship. The girls shared their feelings after becoming champions of South Asia to Prothom Alo’s Bodiujjaman on Tuesday.

SAFF Champion Bangladesh women's team and their coach Golam Rabbani ChotonFile photo

Sabina Khatun, captain

Bangladesh women's football team captain Sabina Khatun
File photo

We have accomplished the dreams of our countrymen, this is the biggest joy for me. The entire country was watching us, the prayers of so many people couldn’t go unanswered. Each girl in the team gave all they had. Our goal was to become champions. We have achieved this through playing good football. I want to thank our compatriots for supporting us.

Sheuli Azim, defender

Sheuli Azim
File photo

It feels extra special because our journey had begun against Nepal. In 2015, we became champions in Under-14 football in Nepal. This time we have accomplished our dream of becoming champions in senior football.

Shamsunnahar, defender

FIle photo

The biggest thing is that we are taking this trophy back home to 160 million people. We have received the fruits of our labour. We believed that we could do it. After the final whistle, I realised that we have actually done it.

Akhi Khatun, defender

Akhi Khatun
File photo

Hoisting the trophy in the air was a completely unique feeling. After returning to the hotel, I got phone calls from my parents. Everyone in our village watched the match together. It felt great to see a video of them distributing sweets, lighting fireworks.

Masura Parvin, defender

Masura Parvin
File photo

The entire Bangladesh is fixated on us. We are everywhere on Facebook. 160 million people are talking about us 23 players. I can’t express this joy in words.

Monika Chakma, midfielder

Monika Chakma
File photo

Everyone had an attitude that we have to win, anyhow. By winning in front of a packed gallery, we proved that we have matured. But I could hardly believe even during the final moments that we are going to be champions.

Sanjida Akhter, midfielder

Sanjida Akhter
File photo

I posted a status on Facebook. Now, I want to go to the BFF headquarters on an open roof bus. I have seen how champion teams celebrate in European leagues. We also wish for a similar celebration.

Maria Manda, midfielder

Maria Manda
File photo

I was so happy that I couldn’t sleep at night. We accomplished this monumental achievement through our self-confidence. We have received the reward of our hard work. Once again, we are seeing the proof of how much our countrymen love us.

Krishna Rani Sarkar, striker

Krishna Rani Sarkar
File photo

It feels great to be a part of such a monumental achievement. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we’ll meet everyone in Dhaka. We will celebrate our victory on an open roof bus.

Sirat Jahan, striker

Sirat Jahan
File photo

I couldn’t play the entire final. I’m still in physical pain. But after holding the champion’s trophy, all the pain in my body vanished. It was an indescribable feeling.

Tohura Khatun, striker

Tohura Khatun
File photo

After returning to the hotel I was thinking, are we really champions? We became champions for the first time in an age-level tournament in Nepal. Once again in Nepal, we became champions in the senior division. This is an incredible feeling.

Nilufar Yasmin, defender

Nilufar Yasmin
File photo

I don’t know why, but I still can’t believe it! I’m feeling like tomorrow (Wednesday), we’ll play the final again. I’m not at all feeling tired. I’m really excited. But right now, we really are the best team in South Asia.

Rituporna Chakma, midfielder

Rituporna Chakma
File photo

This trophy doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to 160 million people. We have brought smiles to 160 million people, we have accomplished our dreams. It feels great that we have etched our names in the pages of history.

Shamsunnahar Junior, striker

Shamsunnahar Junior
File photo

After a long time, the people of Bangladesh felt joy watching football. The people of the nation kept their faith on us. It feels great that we could repay their faith.

Rupna Chakma, goalkeeper

Rupna Chakma
File photo

I was confident from the start that this time we will do something great. But I never imagined that it would end up being this great. For the first time, I have been named the best goalkeeper for the national team, so my joy is a little extra.

Golam Rabbani, coach

Coach Golam Rabbani
File photo

Yesterday (Monday) was my wedding anniversary. I didn’t know that the girls would give me such a grand gift on my special day. They had promised me that they will play good football. Our aim was to win the SAFF Championship in 2024. But two years before that, these golden girls have gifted me the trophy. This is the biggest achievement of my coaching career. We are the best team in South Asia. The girls have given a grand present to the people of the country.