At just 21 years of age, full-back Akash Mishra has established himself as an indispensable asset for club Hyderabad FC and the Indian football team. The defender has witnessed a meteoric rise to the top, ever since signing for Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC in 2020.

Mishra’s youth career took shape in 2015 when he was selected by the U Dream Football Academy in Germany. After spending three years in Europe, he returned to India and signed for the Indian Arrows, making a name for himself in the Hero I-League while also representing India at the youth level. He joined Hyderabad FC later on and has never looked back since then.

At club level, Mishra has racked up 62 Hero ISL appearances across three seasons, with a tally of two goals and four assists. During this time, Mishra also lifted the Hero ISL title with Hyderabad FC during the 2021-22 season.

What separates Mishra from other full-backs is his ability to bomb up and down the flanks and contribute to the team’s attack in more ways than one, be it delivering crosses into the box or attempting headers during a set-piece.

“I love making overlaps and joining the team in attack. A full-back always has to multi-task, and yes, as a defender, defending is my priority, but I'm always thrilled to contribute in the attacking third and help my team score goals," Mishra was quoted as saying in an interview by

Mishra made his senior Indian team debut in a 1-1 friendly against Oman when he was aged 19. He has been a regular part of the Indian football team set up for the last couple of years and has also been included in their 27-member squad for the Hero Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championships. The Balrampur-born full-back has so far made 10 appearances for the senior national team and currently is the youngest player in the Indian national camp.

"I feel proud to be a part of the national team at a young age. I hope that my parents and my coaches are proud as well and happy to see me succeed. But at the moment, the only thing on my mind is to keep improving myself, and because I'm young, I get to learn a lot from the senior players on and off the field. It's also important to know how to carry yourself off the pitch as a professional footballer," Mishra revealed.

"In the national camp, you have the best players from every club in the country, and each player has some qualities which others don't. There are a lot of aspects of the game I still have to grasp, and if I keep learning something or the other from every player, it will help me in my game. My sole focus right now is improving myself in every training session," he further added.

It was Mishra’s Hero ISL performances that caught the eye of India head coach Igor Stimac and earned him a call-up to the national team. Mishra has made the most of every opportunity that he has been handed and is arguably one of the best players in his position at the moment. Fighting for his place against experienced players in his position, the young defender has not had it easy. Mishra revealed how Stimac’s faith in him provided the confidence and belief to excel in his role.

"I think it's a huge factor and very important for a player, especially a youngster like me, in his career when the coach trusts him to get the job done. And when that happens, even an average player becomes a great one because that gives him confidence, and he keeps pushing himself to improve every day," Mishra stated.