Rahul Kumar is an Indian football player who plays as a Defender for I-League team Salgaocar. A Punjab lad, Kumar was one of the original players of Pune F.C. in 2007.
Kumar began playing the game at the age of 14 beginning with Sanjay Public School where he played for two years. During this time he played the school nationals in Kolkata in 2001 and the next edition of the tournament the next year in Chandigarh. He also played the U-21 nationals and later went on to play for the Punjab senior team in 2005.
One of the earliest influences on his game was his coach at the start of his career at school, Ranjit Singh Rana, who not only encouraged him but was one of the coaches who also extended financial help to wards who needed it. Another coach he credits is Jaghir Singh of JCT Academy.
After school he joined the JCT Academy and followed that by a stint at the Punjab Electricity Board before making his way to PFC.
His height and built meant that he played as a defender since the beginning of his footballing days at school. Kumar is a very good player in the air which is a required skill for a defender in the centre of the field. He also backs that up with speed and with long range shooting, rounding off his skill set nicely.
Kumar's brightest moment to date has been playing the Santosh Trophy for Punjab against Kerala. Kumar, who played left back in that game, was the junior most member of that 2005 Punjab side and he learnt a lot because everyone was eager to help the up-and-coming youngster.
Amongst the current lot of players, Kumar favours Baichung Bhutia amongst the forwards and the practical and sensible Mahesh Gawli of Dempo S.C amongst the defenders. Amongst players across the world he likes John Terry and Thierry Henry. Kumar loves to listen to music when he is not playing, especially Punjabi pop, his favourite artistes being Babbu Mann and Sukhwinder Singh.