Footy Times

Brishti Bagchi set to become the first Indian woman to play in the Spanish League

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Brishti Bagchi set to become the first Indian woman to play in the Spanish League. The 25-year-old is one step closer towards making her dreams come true after being picked to play for the reserve team for Madrid Club de Futbol Femenino (CFF), a team that competes in the Spanish La Liga Division-1 league.

Bristhi, who plays now for the Bangalore United FC now in the ongoing Indian Women’s League (IWL) as the team’s striker has been kicking challenges off her way to make it to the goal ever since she realised her passion lies in playing professional football. The ball has been at her feet ever since she was seven as she was studying in Centre for Learning, an alternative school located at Magadi Road, in the outskirts of Bengaluru city. Later, she was chosen to play for the Sports Authority of India (SAI) girls’ team from where she built her confidence in the game and went on to play for the Karnataka state junior and senior teams.

She was invited to the Indian camp when another opportunity knocked on her door. In 2012, she got a call from the US to play varsity soccer at Oklahoma City University. It was a difficult choice for her, but she decided to take up this opportunity as she could also pursue her educational interest in kinesiology, the study of the mechanics of body movements.

There was no turning back for Brishti, who developed her game in the six years she was in the US. She further moved to North Texas University (UNT), from where she completed her graduation.

She aimed for a spot in the US National Women’s Soccer League but was ineligible owing to her student visa. Nevertheless, a new door opened for her when a talent scout from Spain saw her game in 2018 and invited her to train in Spain.

“I’ve harboured this dream for a long time, and now it is getting fulfilled. I am pretty excited about the journey ahead. I was looking for financial support, which also led me to start an online crowdfunding campaign. I’ll start my training during the first week of August. Along with the intense training, I will be learning the Spanish language. This is going to be a new set of experience for me,” asserts Brishti in a conversation with The Bridge.

“I’ve been a Barcelona fan and grown up watching the great Ronaldinho’s wizardry on the field. The Spanish version of football is superior in tactics, which I aim to pick up during my stay,” adds Brishti.

In 2018, she trained for a month with the reserve teams of Madrid CFF. She was evaluated by a UEFA-licensed coach, who gave her the current opportunity, which, she hopes, will help her play professionally.

Brishti credits her success to several coaches and mentors who have been guiding factors for her throughout her entire journey.

The forward, who made her maiden stint in the Indian Women’s League (IWL) this year for the Bangalore United FC, says it was a pleasant experience because she stayed abroad for six years and coming back to see good progress in Indian football was a delightful thing to experience. She played alongside national football team player Aamoolya Kamal and other experienced players like Paromita Sit and Tanvi Hans.

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