Manisha Kalyan: In a proud act of creating history, Manisha Kalyan has become the first Indian footballer to debut at the UEFA Champions League. She debuted for Apollon Ladies FC on Thursday. She was substituted in the 60th minute in the qualifying match as she replaced Marilena Georgiou of Cyprus at the Makareio Stadium. Apollon Ladies FC later went on to beat Latvian top flight club SFK Riga 3-0. Now Apollon Ladies FC is all set to take on Zurich Frauen on August 21, 2022.
The 20-year-old striker Kalyan has now become the first Indian to achieve this historic feat and is only the fourth Indian female athlete to have a contract with an overseas club. Kalyan had fared brilliantly for Gokulam Kerala in the Indian Women’s League. The Indian footballer first burst on the scene when she scored against Brazil in a friendly match which was being played in Brazil itself.
Indian football team congratulates Kalyani for her historic feat
With wishes pouring in for the 20-year-old striker Kalyan, the Indian football team put out a tweet and congratulated her for making the country proud. The tweet read, “We congratulate #BlueTigresses, who made her UEFA Women’s Champions League debut with Appollon Ladies FC against SFK Riga in the qualifiers last night. Many more steps to go”. Now, this tweet has been doing the rounds especially since FIFA has suspended the AIFF.
Last year Indian Women’s Football League awarded Kalyan with the “Player of the Season” honor. Kalyan had scored 14 goals in the tournament and stamped her authority on the league. Courtesy of Kalyan’s performance, team Gokulam Kerala won their first Indian Women’s League title. Manisha was also announced as the “Emerging Player of the Year” in 2021. She was also selected as the Best Woman Footballer in the 2021-22 season by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).