Ishan Pandita, an 18 year old boy from Bengaluru, has become the first Indian to ink a deal with international club CD Leganes. Pandita has signed a one year professional contract with the junior professional side in Spain’s La Liga. The newly promoted club sits at 11 spot on the table. This would also mean that Ishan would be playing against Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Ishan was previously in talks with the Getafe’s junior team but the team got relegated and he wanted to sign with a La Liga club.
Ishan was welcomed at the club with a ‘blue and white striped jersey with No.50 written on it’. In his statement to The Hindu, Ishan said “I’ve been training with the best coaches and players. It has impacted me heavily. The standard of play is miles better than what I was exposed to back home.” “It’s a highly competitive league, with all the top clubs like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid involved,” Pandita said. “I’m going to work really hard.”
“What impressed us most about Ishan were his physical attributes and ability to score goals,” academy director Jorge Broto Benavente said. “It’s too early to say when he will break into the main team – he is a young player, a rough diamond to be worked on.”
Pandita had grew up in Philippines before moving to Bengaluru in 2009. He shifted to Spain two years ago to groom his skills. In his interview with TOI from Madrid Ishan told “It’s been a tough, hard three years here in Spain but at the end, it was all worth it.” “It feels great to be the first Indian to go down this path. Right from the moment I decided to take a break from studies till now, I never gave up on my dream.”