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Krishna draws praise

Opinions / Analysis

ROY Krishna won praise for his second year in the Indian Super League.

Football sensation Krishna and his ATK Mohun Bagan missed out on the title after losing to Mumbai City FC, 2-1, who clinched the 2020-2021 league after the win in Fatorda.

But the Fiji national football captain aptly won the Hero of the League, Golden Ball award.

And the 33-year-old, Krishna deserves the best player award of the ISL.

The Fijian exponent had been at the top of his game throughout the season.

The ATK Mohun Bagan star drew praises from a host of former footballers, including former India football team captain Bhaichang Bhutia, who said Krishna is the best player in the ISL.

“Krishna is smart, he is sharp and tactically very aware, something that many Indian players lack,” he said.

Bhutia mentioned the A -League, for making Krishna the footballer he is, added [he], played against the best defenders and yet found ways to score goals seemingly at will.

Shyam Thapa, former India footballer, who played for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal said Krishna is confident with the ball, always ready to dribble past one, two players and is very aware of where his teammates are.

“He is fast, he is strong, and it is hard to get the ball off him,” said ATK Mohun Bagan and India central defender Sandesh Jhingan.

Goalkeeper Luis Barreto, who has played for FC Goa, East Bengal and Dempo, called Krishna ‘electric.’

He was ATK Mohun Bagan’s most consistent performer, a go to guy game in and out, for goals and assists.

Krishna, who equaled on goals with FC Goa’s Igor Angulo, 14 each, missed out the Golden Boot Award on the new rule set out at the start of the new football season.

Unlike last season where on a tie, the winner was decided on assists, this season it was declared on better goal per minute ratio and that had the latter winning the award.

Krishna scored (a goal in every 147 minutes) to Angulo, (a goal in every 118 minutes).

The rule change obviously worked up Krishna a bit.

“It’s frustrating for the rules to be changed”, he said ahead of the ISL final.

The Fijian, who honed his skills while playing pickup games on dust line fields in Labasa, has grown into the sport by the game.

Krishna won the Johnny Warren Award for being the A-League’s best player, pairing with the Golden Boot award, after scoring 18 goals in 2018- 2019 season, all while playing for the Wellington Phoenix.

And after conquering the A-League, the country’s biggest footballing export has proven it in the Indian Super League.

What he also proved is that a potent mix of self-optimism and hard work can yearn stardom.

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