Indian midfielder Danish Farooq is delighted on making his international debut against Bahrain in a friendly match, earlier this week. Though India lost the match 1-2, Farooq’s performance was one of the main highlights of the evening, with him playing some free flowing football in the heart of the midfield.

Farooq played 17 matches for Bengaluru FC, cementing a permanent berth in the squad along the way. On the virtue of his outing in the campaign, Head Coach Igor Stimac summoned the Srinagar-based player to the preparatory camp ahead of the international friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus. He was then shortlisted for the final squad.

“Dreams do come true. It has been an emotional few months but last night was something truly special. Honoured beyond belief to represent the country and stand alongside some of the best players of the land. Would never have been possible without the support of my family, friends, coaches, fellow players and most importantly the fans,” stated Farooq, in his Instagram post.

Following his senior debut for local side Lonestar Kashmir, the playmaker shifted loyalties to city rivals Real Kashmir and helped them qualify for the I-League. Consistent performances with the Snow Leopards grabbed attention from Bengaluru FC and he was subsequently deported to the ISL side.

The Blues’ player was in action for 79 minutes against Bahrain, following which he was substituted for Yasir Mohammad and was also introduced in the dying minutes of the match against Belarus. India narrowly lost to Bahrain, while they were outclassed 0-3 by Belarus in the following match.

Apart from the former Real Kashmir player, Stimac also handed maiden caps to players like VP Suhair, Roshan Singh, Aniket Jadhav and Anwar Ali.

Farooq became the first player from Jammu and Kashmir to play for the Indian national football team after 10 years. Mehrajuddin Wadoo was the last footballer from the region to don the blue jersey, way back in 2011.