KOLKATA: Sreenidi Deccan FC's Colombian forward David Castaneda is not just good at scoring goals but is also good in academics, currently pursuing a degree in industrial engineering.
The 27-year-old, who has nine goals from 11 matches to occupy the fourth spot in the leading scorer's table in the ongoing I-League, pursues a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Antioquia in his native country.
"When I was in school, I was very good with numbers and my teachers encouraged me to try and be an engineer as this would open up a lot of career possibilities," he told the I-League website.
"Many people who are in leadership roles throughout the sporting world are engineers with specialisations in management and administration. Maybe in the future, I could be the president of a football club," smiled Castaneda.
Pursuing a professional football career alongside a technical degree could lead to work and life imbalance but with sheer discipline he's able to manage both.
"It's not easy because you have games every few days, training sessions, travelling to different cities for away matches. But if you are disciplined and take responsibility, you can manage both," he said.
After plying his trade in Colombia for a number of years, Castaneda found himself playing in the Iraqi Premier League with Zakho SC before touching the Indian shores to lead the line for I-League new boys Sreenidi Deccan.
"I played in Colombia for many years but my dream was always to go abroad and play in other countries. So far, it has been a very good experience for me here. I'm very happy and everyone in the team -- the staff, the players have been really good to me," he said.
Having booked their ticket for the Championship phase of the I-League 2021-22, Castaneda sees no reason why they cannot go all the way.
"We believe we can win the title because we have a very good team. We are preparing very well for each game and we have a very good set of people working towards that. Our focus is to get the trophy home," he concluded.