Who Was Syed Abdul Rahim? The Inspiration For Ajay Devgn’s ‘Maidaan’ Character

New Delhi: Ajay Devgn is all set to shine on the silver screen with ‘Maidaan’, essaying the role of Syed Abdul Rahim, the pioneer of Indian football, who led India’s team to new heights under his tutelage. As we eagerly anticipate the film slated to release in worldwide theatres on April 10, we take a look at the real life story of Syed Abdul Rahim.

Syed Abdul Rahim: The Visionary Maestro of Indian Football

Syed Abdul Rahim, fondly known as Rahim Saab, transcended the realms of Indian football, leaving an indelible mark as both a player and a coach. Born on August 17, 1909, in Hyderabad, Rahim’s journey epitomizes resilience, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Early Life and Playing Career:

Rahim’s tryst with football commenced amidst humble beginnings in Hyderabad. His innate talent and passion for the sport propelled him into the limelight as a player. Despite the dearth of resources and infrastructure, Rahim’s skill and strategic prowess set him apart, earning him acclaim within the football fraternity.

As a player, Rahim’s finesse and understanding of the game were unparalleled. His contributions to various teams showcased not only his individual brilliance but also his ability to elevate the performance of those around him.


Transition to Coaching:

Rahim’s transition from player to coach heralded a new era in Indian football. Armed with a deep-seated passion for teaching and an astute understanding of the game, Rahim embarked on a journey that would redefine the sport in India.

As a coach, Rahim’s philosophy was rooted in discipline, innovation, and relentless pursuit of perfection. His ability to motivate and inspire his players was legendary, instilling in them a sense of purpose and pride.

The Golden Era of Indian Football:

Under Rahim’s tutelage, the India national team experienced an unprecedented surge, marking what is often hailed as the “golden age” of Indian football. Rahim’s tactical genius and emphasis on technical proficiency propelled India to remarkable heights on the international stage.

India’s triumphs in the Asian Games of 1951 (Delhi) and 1962 (Jakarta), along with their historic semi-final appearance in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, underscored Rahim’s transformative impact. His innovative approach to coaching and penchant for tactical mastery earned India the moniker “Brazil of Asia.”

Legacy and Honors:

Rahim’s contributions to Indian football have been etched in history, earning him accolades and honors that resonate to this day. His visionary leadership and unwavering dedication inspired generations of players and coaches, shaping the trajectory of Indian football.

Despite his untimely demise on June 11, 1963, Rahim’s legacy endures as a beacon of inspiration. His pioneering spirit, coupled with his profound understanding of the game, continues to inspire and influence the footballing landscape in India.

About Maidaan

In the eagerly anticipated trailer of ‘Maidaan,’ Ajay Devgn breathes life into the untold saga of Syed Abdul Rahim, the unsung hero who revolutionized Indian football. Directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Amit Ravindernath Sharma, renowned for his work in ‘Badhai Ho,’ this cinematic masterpiece promises to chronicle the extraordinary journey of Rahim, a visionary coach who brought unprecedented glory to the nation.

Alongside Ajay Devgn’s captivating performance, the film boasts a stellar ensemble cast, including Priya Mani, Gajraj Rao, and the esteemed Bengali actor Rudranil Ghosh. Their collective talent and dedication promise to elevate ‘Maidaan’ into a cinematic spectacle that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit.

Produced by Zee Studios, Boney Kapoor, Arunava Joy Sengupta, and Akash Chawla, ‘Maidaan’ boasts a stellar team of writers including Saiwyn Quadras and Ritesh Shah, captivating music by AR Rahman, and soul-stirring lyrics by Manoj Muntashir Shukla. 


‘Maidaan’ is set to hit theatres worldwide, including IMAX screens, this Eid 2024.

ALSO READ: Maidaan Trailer Out: Ajay Devgn Turns A Dedicated Coach In This Sports Drama

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