Manisha Kalyan has become the first Indian to feature in the UEFA Champions League after she made her debut for Apollon Ladies FC in the European Club competition in Engomi, Cyprus. In a match between Apollon Ladies FC and SFK Riga, Manisha was brought in as a substitute at the stroke of the 60th minute.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) was suspended by FIFA due to “undue influence from third parties” and the country has also been stripped of the right to host the 2022 Under-17 Women’s World Cup, scheduled for October. Manisha Kalyan told the Times of India about her experience and said that it felt important for her personal growth as well.
“Coach (Laurent Fassotte) had told me before the match to be prepared and that I would get some time in the match, even if it was for 10-15 minutes. So I had begun preparing myself. I was telling myself that I needed to be ready, to give my very best. The entire time, the focus was on giving my best for the club,” she said to Times of India.
She added that she had played a lot of intense matches for India and felt her debut match at the UEFA champions league was less intense. To add cherry on top of the cake, the debutant’s side won the match 3-0.