Roy Krishna is a striker playing in the Indian Super League for football club ATK Mohun Bagan. The Fijian international arrived at ATK FC from A-League side Wellington Phoenix in 2019 and has since been one of the league’s most prolific strikers.
Born August 30, 1987, in the town Labasa situated in Fiji to Bal Krishna and Sarita Krishna, Roy started playing football at an early age with Labasa FC, the local football team. His persistence in the attacking third soon saw Roy join New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) team Waitakere United. His impressive displays earned him a week-long training with A-League side Wellington Phoenix in 2008, but he wasn’t offered a contract.
Roy Krishna’s efforts, however, didn’t go unnoticed and famous Netherlands club PSV Eindhoven came calling for his services soon after. But, the Fijian rejected the offer citing his language barrier in moving to Europe. Roy Krishna was still learning English, and acquiring another language skill wasn’t easy. He continued with the New Zealand club Waitakere United and tallied 55 goals in six seasons, thus winning the NZFC Golden Boot in the 2012–13 season.
Waitakere United’s rival club Auckland City FC came calling in 2013, and Krishna jumped ship for a brief stint, where he played only six games and managed three goals and three assists. Among all his goals for Auckland was one at the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, where Roy Krishna became the first-ever Fijian international to score in the big tournament.
Wellington Phoenix came with a one-year contract for the much-improved complete striker in 2014, and Krishna finally moved to the big A-League. But, he was relentless for the Phoenix and was soon offered a two-year extension after being directly involved in nine goals in his debut season.
However, it was in the 2018-19 season that firmly established Krishna as a Wellington Phoenix legend as he scored 19 goals and provided eight assists to guide his team to the knockout stages. Roy Krishna was awarded the Wellington Phoenix Player of the Year in April 2018, while his goal against Brisbane Roar in the previous season was adjudged the team’s Goal of the Year for the 2017–18 season.
Roy Krishna overtook Paul Ifill’s record of 33 goals on December 2, 2018, to become Wellington Phoenix’s leading scorer, and created history the following month by becoming the first player in A-League history to score three consecutive braces (two goals in a match).
With the cash-rich Indian Super League gaining momentum in the meantime, ATK FC brought in the prolific striker to challenge for the title in the 2019-20 ISL season. And it turned out to be a brilliant signing as he scored 15 goals and assisted six times to lead the side to a record third ISL title. Krishna had ended up becoming the joint-highest ISL top scorer alongside Bartholomew Ogbeche and Nerijus Valskis in his very first season.
Though ATK have now merged with the Kolkata football giants to form ATK Mohun Bagan, Krishna’s efficacy in front of the goal hasn’t diminished. He had scored 14 goals and provided six assists in the 2020-21 ISL season to take ATKMB to their second consecutive ISL final.
Roy Krishna: Goals by Clubs
|ATK Mohun Bagan FC||36||20||12|
|Auckland City FC||6||3||3|
Playing for ATKFC and ATK Mohun Bagan, Roy Krishna have scored against all the other 10 ISL teams. However, he has been the most prolific facing former ISL winners Bengaluru FC, against whom he has scored three goals and provided two assists. Krishna’s second-best record has been against NorthEast United, facing whom he has scored four goals.
Against ATK Mohun Bagan’s archrivals, Roy Krishna has three goals in three Kolkata Derby matches. Interestingly, against Hyderabad FC, star goalscorer Krishna has turned a provider with four assists and just one goal in five games.
Roy Krishna: All Goals vs ISL Teams
|NorthEast United FC||5||4||0|
|Kerala Blasters FC||5||3||0|
|Mumbai City FC||5||1||1|
|SC East Bengal||3||3||0|
A stocky athlete with supreme physicality and unparalleled stamina, Roy Krishna has been exactly what the Indian Super League needed to move to the next level. To add his physical prowess, his pace off the ball and brilliant finesse are desirable qualities. ATKMB extended his contract earlier in 2021 before the club kicked off their AFC Cup campaign.
Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia has described Roy Krishna as “the best player” in ISL.
“You can get better with experience but it is something you are born with. Krishna is smart, he is sharp and tactically very aware, something that many Indian players lack. That comes from playing in good teams under good coaches. He had it before he came to India where the quality of defenders, their positional sense may not be as high as A-League,” the former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal star had stated.
Roy Krishna: Goals by Competitions
|Indian Super League||47||32||13|
Unfortunately, the Fiji national team only competes in the World Cup qualification campaigns apart from the international friendlies. So, Roy Krishna’s exposure in the international circuit has been limited to these two competitions. Quite impressively, the striker has scored 0.95 goals per game in international friendlies and 0.47 goals in the much tougher World Cub qualifiers.
Roy Krishna: International Goals
|World Cup qualification||21||10||0|