Indian football Striker Ishan Pandita and his connection with Kashmir
Ishan Pandita’s goal helped India defeat Hong Kong after a long 29-year hiatus in the Football Asian Cup final. Ishan, who started his trip to ISL with FC Goa and then moved to FC Jamshedpur, was also delighted after his first international goal for the national team.
Kashmiri Pandit Pawan Durani tweeted ‘This is our boy from Pulwama, Kashmir India, Ishan Pandita, the boy with the golden boots who makes it so easy to score this beautiful goal against Hong Kong, everyone is enjoying this’.
“PANDITAAAAA TIME BABYYY!!! First official one for my country! No better feeling than representing your nation. Fantastic performance from the boys last night. Top of the group and off to the AFC Asia Cup 2023! This is the new India. Jai Hind! (sic),” Ishan said in a Facebook post after the match in which India defeated Hong Kong 4-0.
Who is Ishan Pandita?
Ishan Pandita was born in Bangalore in 1998 and also has Kashmiri roots. He went to the Philippines at a very young age and started playing soccer at the age of six. The Indian joined a British school in Manila and was trained by British coaches from the beginning of his career and has the essence of the English style of football involved in him.
Ishan Pandita is a striker for the Indian national football team. The talented player is well known for being the first Indian footballer to sign a professional contract with La Liga Club. He currently plays for the Indian Super League club Jamshedpur and is working on earning more playing time in ISL matches.
Ishan was born in Delhi on May 26, 1998. As a 6-year-old boy, Ishan moved to the Philippines with his family and started playing soccer at his British school. Ishan received training from British coaches at this time and developed the essence of the English style of football.
Ishan’s parents originally come from Kashmir and brought him to Bangalore, India in 2009 when he was 11 years old. In Bangalore, Ishan showed amazing performance and became the captain of his international school football team. Here, he played for Student Unions and Bangalore Yellows and gained recognition in the BDCA Division A and C state soccer leagues.
Ishan gained his chance for international fame in 2013, when he found his big breakthrough at the Gothia Cup in Sweden. His performance prompted local Swedish club IF Brommapojkarna to spy on him, and they gave him a chance to fall behind to side with U-17.
In 2014, Ishan came to Spain and joined the Intersoccer Madrid football academy, which led him to join Alcobendas Juvenile at a young age. In 2015, Ishan joined the La Liga club Almeria and played for their U-18 team, but he was unable to sign a professional contract with them because he was not yet 18 years old.
In 2016, he played for the U-19 Leganes and became the first Indian footballer to play for Juvenile in a Spanish top division club. Ishan went down in history as the first Indian footballer to sign a professional contract with the Spanish club La Liga when he signed a one-year deal with CD Leganes.
Ishan’s international football career flourished in 2019, when he signed his first senior contract with Gymnastics Farm Club, Pobla Mafumet, and his popularity continued after he signed a one-year deal with Tercera Division Club Club Lorca. Ishan played 26 matches for Lorca and became the top scorer with 6 goals in the 2019-2020 season.
Ishan’s international career flourished, but the Crown Pandemic destroyed it. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ishan stayed with his family in Spain, but it became increasingly difficult for him to find a club. Frustrated by the sudden development, Ishan and his family returned to India and made a name for themselves on the Indian football scene.
In October 2020, FC Goa made an official announcement that it had recruited Ishan to its team, and Ishan did not disappoint the club. Just a few months after joining the club, Ishan showed great results, coming on as a substitute in the 86th minute and scoring his debut goal for the club in his first touch in the 87th minute against Hyderabad. Ishan’s incredible performance in his ISL debut season was celebrated by all clubs and coaches, and it led to Ishan being called up to the Indian national football team in March 2021. Ishan made his national team debut as a striker in a friendly against Oman, who drew 1-1.
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