Indian Super League

Akash Mishra reveals how he deals with pressure as a young Indian footballer

Mudeet Arora
Mishra has been a revelation in Indian football
Mishra has been a revelation in Indian football / ISL

Indian Super League's 2021-22 winners Hyderabad FC's star player Akash Mishra has spoken up in detail regarding his rise in his team and on the national stage with India.

The 20-year-old left-back was one of the best players of the 2021-22 campaign, out-performing some of the best senior Indian and foreign footballers in the league.

The former Indian Arrows player had also been featured in the FIFA Team of The Week, becoming the first Indian to achieve this feat. Mishra played a total of 23 games in the season, making 62 clearances and 52 interceptions with a passing rate of 36 average passes every match, which is quite incredible for a defender to be honest..

"Yes, there is always a lot of pressure. But we have teammates who help, seniors in the squad that teach us which is very important. However, once you are on the ground, you are a part of the team and start playing, the pressure does not play such a big role.", Mishra told The Bridge in an exclusive interview.

"For youngsters like me, I think the expectations are not very high, which also helps reduce pressure. Everyone only expects us to improve and work hard. Doing that reduces the pressure on us even more." he added.

Mishra then went on to speak about his humble beginnings and how difficult it was for him to convince his family for a career in football in India.

"I was an amateur football player before going to Germany. I only trained in my hometown and my state but after going to Germany, I learnt the right way to play the game. I worked on my basics, improved my technique and that helps me even to this day. The knowledge I acquired there as a professional footballer is invaluable."

Mishra started playing for the Indian Arrows before making a dream move to Hyderabad FC on his path to becoming the champion of Indian football.

Since then, he has gone on to receive a senior team call-up to the Indian national football team by coach Igor Stimac and he is all set to make his debut for the senior team in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers to be held in Kolkata from June 8.