New Delhi: Come 2016, there will be a Indian footballer playing in Spain, one of the global hubs of greatest players.
According to a report in The Times of India, Ishan Pandita, is likely to sign a professional contract with Spanish outfit UD Almeria next year, in May when he turns 18.
FIFA’s protection-of-minors clause, under its Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, states that international transfers of non-European players are permitted only after 18 years of age.
“As part of their U-18 squad, I live and train with the team and play friendlies with other youth teams. If everything goes to plan, I expect to sign a contract in May next year, which will enable me to play the club’s official league games.” The report quoted Ishan as saying.
The 17-year old boy from Bengaluru is currently part of UD Almeria's Under-18 team.
Impressed with Pandita's talent, Almeria’s academy manager Agustin Sanchez said, “It’s for the first time we have accepted an Indian player into our club. At first, we had our doubts; so we asked others for their opinion about Ishan before accepting him. We liked he has adapted well to Spanish football.”
A student of International School Bangalore, Pandita signed up to join Intersoccer Madrid football academy in Spain, paving the way for his international exposer.
Almeria is currently in Spain's second division.