New Delhi: All India Football Federation on Wednesday hailed Bangalore lad Ishan Pandita's signing a contract with Spanish La Liga side Club Deportivo Leganés to play in the youth team, describing it a landmark achievement.
Congratulating Pandita, AIFF President Praful Patel tweeted, "Heartiest congratulations to Ishan Pandita, first Indian to sign for Spanish @LaLiga club. A landmark achievement at such a young age."
Bengaluru boy Ishan Pandita became the first Indian footballer to sign a professional contract with a La Liga club. He has been playing in Spanish lower division clubs for the last three years.
Pandita, a 19-year old striker of Kashmiri origin, signed a one-year contract with CD Leganés but will be playing in the Division de Honor Juvenil which is top-level for youth players in Spain.
He played for Liga Adelante side UD Almeria's U-18 team last season.
Pandita was handed the No 50 jersey by club officials on Tuesday.
Ishan's father Neeraj Pandita said that his son "will be eyeing the main team."
"He will be playing for the U-19 team and will be eyeing the main team. He has been in Spain for the last three years and I am happy for him," Neeraj was quoted as saying by the official AIFF website.
"The club football levels at the U-19 level are of a high standard," he added.
CD Leganés, a club located on the outskirts of Madrid, got a promotion to Spain's top division La Liga this season. They are currently placed 11th in the league table.