Srinagar: He had to wait for it but it was all worth it, as top Kashmir footballer Danish Farooq finally scored his first ever Indian Super League (ISL) goal for Bengaluru FC and he is enjoying his time in ISL playing alongside Indian football legend Sunil Chetri.
Danish who this season signed a two year deal with former I-League and ISL champions Bengaluru FC scored his first goal of the league against Mohun Bagan in a thrilling 3-3 draw at GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, Goa.
With that Danish's wait to see him on the scoring sheets of ISL ended since moving to Bengaluru from Real Kashmir FC. The goal is termed as one of the best by football pundits. In replays, it was more brilliant with Danish making contact with the ball backwards in the air after it had crossed over his head.
Danish is now the third ever footballer from Kashmir to score in ISL with former footballers Mehraj uddin Wadoo and Ishfaq Ahmed having scored one goal each. However, it took very less time and games for Danish to achieve the feat compared to both Wadoo and Ishfaq.
For his spectacular goal and being lively in the midfield Danish Farooq was given high rating points by all the ratings agencies. The 25 year old striker is being hailed as a top prospect who can go on to play for India.
Speaking to Greater Kashmir Danish said that the first goal is always special.
"I knew it would come sooner or later but it will be that special I never thought so. While scoring the goal, I didn't realize that it was that special. But after the game, once I saw replays , I was myself surprised to see how spectacular it looked. I was able to do it with the help of Allah and the prayers of my well wishers and fans. Words can't express the feeling and it is always going to be special,".
About his stay in ISL with Bengaluru FC and how he has adapted himself.
"ISL is the top league of Country and now one of the best in the World. The style of play and pressure is a lot different from the I-League. It took me some time to adapt to the style of play and league. However, now I have adapted well and I am looking forward to giving better performances in the coming games," Danish said.
When asked about rubbing shoulders with Indian football legend Sunil Chetri who is Bengaluru FC skipper , Danish said, " I had many offers for ISL and the most important reason why I chose Bengaluru FC was Sunil Chetri. He is a living legend in Indian football. Every footballer's dream in India is to meet him once and I was getting the opportunity to play alongside him. How could I have missed that opportunity".
"He is a very humble guy and he is always there whenever you need him. Apart from that Bengaluru FC's foundations are very strong and Sunil has been with the club since its beginning," he said.
Danish, while thanking his fans and supporters for backing him, asked them to continue supporting him.
"It is always great to see how much love I am getting from the fans back home in Kashmir. I am happy to see videos of my first goal and photographs being shared on social media. It is the love of fans that keeps me motivated and pushes me to work harder to achieve greater goals," he added.
Danish who emerged from J & K Bank Football academy has represented Lone Star Kashmir FC in second division I-League and then went on to play I-League for Real Kashmir FC. He also played in IFA Shield for Real Kashmir. Now he has joined Bengaluru for whom he has already played in AFC cup and ISL. Apart from that Danish is an employee of J&K Bank and play for its senior team in local Kashmir leagues. His father has also represented J&K in senior Nationals in football.