Manisha Kalyan was barely known beyond the Indian football community, however a spate of mesmerizing performances, counting a historic goal versus Brazil, has got her sudden attention.
In November previous year, she became the first Indian to score versus any senior national Brazil team.
She was already the first woman to score in Asian club tournaments for Gokulam Kerala FC, and as her five goals versus Odisha Police in their Indian Women’s League (IWL) opener on Saturday showcased, she is only just beginning of something superb.
Her brilliant runs on the left flank has got plethora of clubs tracking her performances and, as per sources, she is now marked to carry on her trade in other nations. “There is lot of interest from clubs in Spain, Australia, United States and other parts of Europe,” stated Anuj Kichlu, representative of the Madrid-based BOY player agency which took Bala Devi to Rangers FC in Scotland.
“I have no doubt Manisha will play abroad sooner rather than later. Clubs are tracking her and it’s only a matter of time before she makes the move.”
Manisha is aware of the curiosity that her recent performances has created and is preparing to grab the opportunity. The winger is engaged with Gokulam Kerala until the end of IWL and will carry on her foreign aspirations after the ending of the league.
“I am obviously thrilled with the interest. It’s a big opportunity for me. It’s been my dream to play for a big club, train with high-quality players and then bring share this experience back home with Indian players,” stated Manisha.
Manisha scored the sole goal of the match in the friendly versus hosts Jordan early this month. It was a superb strike that saw her collect the ball on the left, run past 2 markers and then end with a powerful left-footer that got the fingertips of the rival goalkeeper and cruised into the top corner of the nets.
“The Indian team has been playing quite a few games against really good opposition and that has helped me gain confidence. It has also helped me improve my game and understand my own abilities. I know I can match them and sometimes even do better (than the players from higher-ranked teams),” stated Manisha.
She acknowledges that her confidence boosted after scoring against Brazil in November previous year. It was for the first time India played the senior Brazilian team and the world’s notice were on the Arena da Amazonia where legendary midfielder Formiga Mota played her farewell match.
“To be on the same pitch as Formiga was a memorable moment,” stated Manisha. “It was difficult for India against a team of Brazil’s quality, but we played without fear. We knew it’s our big chance. We had a good game and I managed to score too. That goal gave me a lot of confidence.”
That goal also brought her sudden fame too. And some authentic interest from clubs in Europe, Australia and United States rising star.