|Profession||Indian Football Player|
|Famous for||Becoming first Indian to play at UEFA European Women's Championship|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 172 cm
in meters- 1.72 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 8”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 60 kg
in pounds- 132 lbs
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|International Debut||2019 against Hong Kong|
|Jersey Number||Apollon Ladies FC: 12
Indian Women National Football Team: 16
|Awards||• AIFF Women Emerging Footballer of the Year award (2021)
• Hero of the League award at the Indian Women's League (IWL) by Hero MotoCorp (2022)
|Date of Birth||27 November 2001 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||20 Years|
|Birthplace||Village Mugowal, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India|
|Hometown||Village Mugowal, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India
Note: Several sources claim that she belongs from Haryana. The Times of India
|School||Sant Attar Singh Khalsa Senior Secondary School|
|College/University||Mehr Chand Mahajan (MCM) DAV College for Women, Chandigarh|
|Educational Qualification||She holds a graduate degree from Mehr Chand Mahajan (MCM) DAV College for Women.|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Narinder Pal (businessman)
Mother- Rajkumari Pal (homemaker)
|Siblings||Sister- Sonam Pal (elder)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Manisha Kalyan
- Manisha Kalyan is an Indian footballer who came into the limelight in August 2022, after becoming the first Indian football player to play in the UEFA European Women’s Championship. The Indian Express
- Manisha Kalyan’s career in football began at the age of thirteen when she was spotted playing football by her Physical Education (PE) teacher Brahmjit Singh, who encouraged her to take football as a professional sport. While giving an interview, Brahmjit Singh said,
Manisha’s footwork was amazing. I convinced the principal to meet her parents. Her father was happy to hear about her talents and permitted me to train her.”
- Manisha Kalyan began practising football after her PE teacher convinced her parents to allow her to play football. She also represented her school at various regional, state, and national-level tournaments.
- When Manisha was in school, she was selected to be a part of the Border Security Force’s (BSF) football team at the Oorja Cup. There, Manisha’s performance caught the attention of a senior BSF officer, who offered her to play for the Mumbai-based Kankere Football Club. Talking about it, during an interview, she said,
When I played Oorja Cup for Border Security Force, an officer asked me whether I could play for Mumbai’s Kenkre FC in the Indian Women’s League (IWL). I said, first I want my family’s permission.”
- In 2017, Manisha Kalyan left Kankere Football Club and joined Sethu FC, a Madurai-based football club.
- Manisha Kalyan represented Sethu Football Club at the 2018 Indian Women’s League (IWL), where she played a pivotal role in aiding the Sethu FC to secure a victory over their rivals.
- In 2018, Manisha Kalyan was drafted into the Indian U-17 football team, and in July 2018, she represented the nation at the BRICS Cup, held in South Africa. There, during a match against the Chinese football team, Manisha’s performance captured the attention of the Kerala-based football club named Gokulam FC.
- In the same year, Manisha Kalyan left Sethu Football Club and joined Gokulam FC.
- Later, in 2018, Manisha Kalyan was drafted into the Indian U-18 football team, where she represented India at the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women’s Championship. In the tournament, the Indian team defeated Bhutan by a margin of 4-0.
- In October 2018, Manisha Kalyan scored a hattrick against Pakistan in the U-19 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Championship. In the tournament, India scored 18 goals against Pakistan.
- In January 2019, Manisha Kalyan played her first senior-level international match against Hong Kong. In the match, India defeated Hong Kong by a margin of 1-0.
- In 2019, at the Indian Women’s League (IWL), Manisha Kalyan represented Gokulam Football Club and scored three goals in the tournament.
- In 2021, Manisha Kalyan played for India at several international tournaments against teams from UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan.
- In November 2021, Manisha Kalyan took part in the International Football Tournament of Manaus, where she scored one goal against the Brazilian football team. Despite her efforts, Brazil defeated India by a margin of 6-1. Talking about India’s performance in the match, Manisha, during an interview, said
The South Americans were a bit taller, that is all. When it comes to fitness, strength and stamina, we can match anyone. Earlier, we used to think that we are physically weak but now we’re much better and aren’t afraid of any team. Skill-wise, I feel we are a bit lacking in our basics like first touch, mis-passes, but we’re all working on it together and feel confident.”
- Manisha Kalyan played in the 2022 Indian Women’s League (IWL), where she represented Gokulam Football Club. There, she won the Hero of the League award.
- In 2022, Manisha Kalyan joined Apollon Ladies, a Cyprus-based football club. After being signed by Apollon Ladies FC, Manisha became one of the four women footballers from India to have been drafted by a foreign football club.
- On 22 August 2022, Manisha Kalyan became the first Indian to play football in the UEFA European Women’s Champion League. The Indian Express
- According to Manisha, before being convinced by Brahmjit Singh, her PE teacher, she wanted to make a career either in sprinting or basketball. She also said that her coach saw her potential in football after he saw her play football with the boys of her age. While talking about it in an interview, Manisha said,
I was into sprinting and basketball. After practice, I used to play football with the boys. One day, my coach saw me kicking the ball around and asked if I wanted to play football. I said yes.”
- During an interview with Al Jazeera, Manisha Kalyan’s father said that he was sceptical of Manisha’s decision to pursue a career in football as he had never heard of an Indian girls’ football team. He further said that the villagers and their neighbours began gossiping about Manisha as her decision was unacceptable to them. He said,
When she said she wanted to play football, I said there is no women’s football team in our village. She said she would play alone. People began talking, and I said: ‘no worries’. Boys and girls have equal rights. Manisha went for tournaments in far-away villages with the boys’ teams. Ten boys and a girl.”
- During an interview, Manisha claimed that to participate in a boys’ football tournament, she had to pretend to be a boy, but her true identity was revealed when the towels that she had wrapped around her body became loose. She said,
I once wrapped a towel around myself to become a boy, I was made out, but no one made an issue, Instead, they praised me.”
- Manisha Kalyan’s father met with an accident when she was in 9th standard. The accident left him with a half-paralyzed body. For his treatment, the family spent around eight lac rupees and even had to sell their land to cover the costs, which led to a financial crunch in the family, as a result of which they could not afford the cost incurred by Manisha’s football practice. During an interview, Manisha’s elder sister said,
We could not afford much for her. She did not even have a proper football kit. She understood it and helped the family as much as she could. We could not even afford a special sports diet for her, she thrived on home made food.”
- Manisha Kalyan once said that to reach her football coaching academy in Punjab, she used to cycle around 2.5 miles.
- According to Manisha Kalyan’s elder sister, Manisha’s football practice was funded by her PE teacher Brahmjit Singh and a United Kingdom-based businessman, Teja Singh, who belonged to their village. During an interview, she said,
She kept wearing a worn-out boot for a long time, saying Brahmjit Singh [her coach] bought it, and it is a lucky charm. At other times, Teja Singh, a United Kingdom based businessman from the village, helped us a lot in our need.”