Date of Birth – 15 December 1976
Place of Birth – Tinkitam, Sikkim, India
Nationality – Indian
Net Worth – ₹17 crore
(as per The Economic Times, March 2016)
First senior club appearance for – East Bengal (circa 1993)
Last senior club appearance for – United Sikkim (circa 2013)
First professional appearance (internationally) – 10 March 1995 for India’s senior team in a Nehru Gold Cup match against Thailand. (Result – India 1 – 5 Thailand)
Last professional appearance (internationally) – 18 January 2011 for India in an AFC Asian Cup Group Stage match against South Korea. (Result – South Korea 4 – 1 India)
Nike – Bhutia is currently endorsing the American sports equipment brand as its brand ambassador for India. When he signed the deal, Bhaichung said, “I am confident that Nike will help elevate the sport in the country.” He’s a regular attendee of many sports events organised by Nike across the country.
Reebok – The Boston-headquartered British-American sports equipment company signed an endorsement deal with the then-21-year-old Bhaichung in 1997. At the time, Reebok felt that Bhutia “was an obvious choice for he has talent above the ordinary.” Malcolm Thorpe, Reebok’s then-sales manager, marketing, said, “We’ve been involved in developing soccer here and since Baichung is the best, he’s part of our vision in India.”
Adidas – The Indian arm of the German sports equipment giant signed a deal with Bhaichung in November 2003.
Following is a list of brands whose ads Bhaichung has featured in:
- Sikkim Watches
- HilfeTMT Steel TVC
- Pond’s Men
- Chennais Amirta International Institute of Hotel Management
- Golden Ball
With India’s Senior Men’s National Team –
- AFC Challenge Cup – 2008
- SAFF Championship – 1997, 1999, 2005
- Nehru Cup – 2007, 2009
With East Bengal –
- ASEAN Club Championship – 2003
- National Football League – 2003–04
- Federation Cup – 2009–10, 2010
- Indian Super Cup – 2011
- Calcutta Football League – 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011
- IFA Shield – 1994, 1995, 1997
- Wai Wai Cup – 1993
- San Miguel International Cup – 2004
With Mohun Bagan –
- Calcutta Football League – 2007, 2008, 2009
- IFA Shield – 2003
- AIFF Player of the Year – 1995, 2008
- Arjuna Award – 1998
- Padma Shri – 2008
- Banga Bhushan – 2014
- Asian Football Hall of Fame – 2014
(Source – Wikipedia)
NOTABLE CHARITY WORK & INITIATIVES
- In July 2008, Bhaichung played the ‘Goal 4 Africa’ charity match which was held at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. He played in the ‘Edu’ XI led by Clarence Seedorf, partnering Robin van Persie up front. He scored two goals and played full 90 minutes as his team were beaten 9-6 by Michael Ballack-led ‘Cation’ XI.
- In 2009, Bhaichung won the dance reality TV show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, for which he won ₹40 lakh in prize money. Half of this money he shared with his choreographer, Sonia Jaffer, to whom he credited the victory. The other half, he pledged to donate to charitable causes. ₹1.5 lakh from that amount were donated to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for Cyclone Aila.
- In January 2010, Bhaichung played in another charity match which was organised to raise funds for the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Played at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, he was part of a side led by Zinedine Zidane that also featured the likes of Ricardo Kaká and Robert Pires. He scored in the ensuing 3-3 draw against a Benfica All-Stars side.
- In October 2010, Bhutia launched Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools – a youth football development initiative in partnership with Portuguese football coach – and former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United – Carlos Queiroz’s football academy, Football By Carlos Queiroz (FBCQ). Aimed at children of the age group 5-15, the initiative aims to offer high-level football training, with a certain section of the enrolled students dedicated towards the underprivileged sections of the society. The initiative has multiple centres across the Delhi NCR and Mumbai.
- In February 2011, Bhutia featured in the Laureus Football Challenge – a seven-a-side charity match with 30 minutes for each half – which was held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Playing alongside legends Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Steve McMannaman, Dwight Yorke and managed by Sir Bobby Charlton, Bhutia scored for his “Laureus Red Team” that faced the “Laureus White Team” that featured Fabio Cannavaro, Luis Figo and Patrick Vieira. The match raised €500k for the Laureus Sports Foundation and the Emirates Sports Foundation.