Indian national set to play UEFA Champion’s League

20-year-old Manisha Kalyan creates history signing a two-year contract with Cyprus-based Apollon Ladies. The club participates in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, and Manisha will be a part of the campaign this August. 

Manisha hails from Hoshiarpur, Punjab. The youngster always had a knack for sports. Alongside football, Manisha wanted to become a sprinter. Manisha played Basketball too. However, football took over. Thanks to her school team coach, who noticed her talent.  

“I lacked opportunities in the initial days. We did not have any female footballers in my neighbourhood. Hence, I played with boys. There are numerous instances of people complaining to my parents about me playing with boys. I am glad my parents did not bat an eye and supported my dreams,” said Manisha in an interview with Anandabazar

Little did people know that the youngster from Hoshiarpur would not only live her dreams but script history for her club and nation. 

Manisha is also the first Indian female footballer to score a goal against Brazil. In November 2021, she blistered from the left flank beating Brazilian defenders and scored. India was playing a four-nation tournament against Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela.  

Her career took off when she joined Gokulam Kerala FC. Before joining the Kerala giants, Manisha represented Mumbai-based Kenkre FC and a few other clubs. She made her international debut in 2019 against Hong Kong. Manisha scored 40 goals from her overall 51 matches for club and country. 

Apollon Ladies will kick start their Champions League campaign on 18th August. They will face Latvian opponents RIGS FS. If Manisha makes a cut into the Starting XI, she will script another historic moment for Indian football. 

Manisha received the 2020-21 AIFF’s Emerging Player Award. She also won two Indian Women’s League championship at Gokulam Kerala FC. 

Alongside Manisha, another Indian international, Dangmei Grace signed for Uzbekistan-based FC Nasaf. In 2020, Bala Devi became the first Indian women footballer to sign a contract with a foreign club. She represented Scotland-based Rangers FC.  

The Indian women’s team is ranked 57th worldwide and 11th in Asia. India will also host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup starting 11th October 2022.

For Fixtures, News, League Table, and Stats on the Harwood Champions league – Click here

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also, Read Mumbai based Bhumika Mane joins Indian camp for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

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