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Mohunbagan Ratna 2001

Sailendra Nath Manna popularly known as Sailen Manna, was an Indian International Footballer and is considered to be one of the best defenders India has ever produced. He represented and captained India in different international competitions including Olympics and Asian Games.

Sailen Manna joined Mohun Bagan in 1942 and continued playing for the club for a period of 19 years, till his retirement in 1960.  During this period, he was the Captain of Mohun Bagan from 1950 to 1955. As a defender he was known for his anticipation, covering and a strong free kick.

He also represented India in 1948 London Olympics,  1954 Asian Games and was the captain of the Indian team in 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India won the Gold Medal in the 1951 Asian Games and won the Quandrangular Tournament for three consecutive years from 1952 to 1954.

Sailen Manna was included in the list of the 10 best Captains of the world by English FA in 1953 and also declared as the “Footballer of the Millennium” by AIFF in 2000. Sailen Manna received Padma Shri award in 1971. After retiring from football, he was closely associated with the football team of Mohun Bagan for many years. He was awarded Mohun Bagan Ratna in 2001.

After being unwell for quite some time, Manna died at a private hospital in Kolkata on Monday, 27 February 2012. He was 87 years old and was survived by his wife and daughter.

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