Bengalurean pursues soccer dreams in Spain

The footballer from Bengaluru has a foot in the door - an opportunity to play for the reserve side of Madrid Club de Futbol Femenino, a La Liga Division 1 side. She feels that’s all she needs to kick open that metaphorical door to be a full-time professional.

Brishti Bagchi has a dream. One that sees her kicking a football on the sun-soaked pitches of Spain. And unlike many, she even has a chance to realise it.

The footballer from Bengaluru has a foot in the door - an opportunity to play for the reserve side of Madrid Club de Futbol Femenino, a La Liga Division 1 side. She feels that’s all she needs to kick open that metaphorical door to be a full-time professional.

But the stumbling block remains finances, forcing her to turn to crowd-funding.

“I made the reserve team in Madrid and I want to return there in August,” she puts it matter-of-factly. “So I have to go back and train for four to six months with the reserve team before I can play for the first team.”

“Yes, because I have a visa based on that. The visa would be a student visa and I have the license to compete for the reserve team. Only once I make the main team and get a contract can I get a work permit and be paid. But until I do, I have to take care of my expenses.”

Brishti, playing for Bangalore United FC in the ongoing Indian Women’s League in Ludhiana, had a trial towards the end of 2018 with the Spanish club. After being scouted during her time with Dallas City FC B in the Women’s Premier Soccer League in the United States, she was picked for the reserve team at the end of her trial.

Having played in the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics league for the Oklahoma City University side before moving to North Texas University Club while pursuing a degree and research in Kinesiology, the attacker knows the level needed to make it as a professional.

“I had a trial for Houston Dash (in the US). I made it to the second round and they said international players have only four spots in the team and they were taken,” she opens up about her path.

The 25-year-old, coached by BUFC coach Chitra Gangadharan during her early years for SAI, was in the state and national circles before moving to the US. has knocked on many a door to help pursue her passion. The midfielder started a fundraising campaign on Milaap where she has detailed her ambitions and struggles. So far she has raised Rs 3,55,400. There is still a long way to go.

“This is a short-term investment so I’m hoping for a corporate sponsor.”

While her future remains in the balance, Brishti is keen to help in raising the popularity of women’s football and don the national colours. “Women’s football in India definitely has gone up. I think there is more hope but there needs to be more support. I know they are working on it and hopefully it will happen in the future,” she says.

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