Football: Phoenix star Roy Krishna granted New Zealand citizenship

Phoenix striker Roy Krishna.
Phoenix striker Roy Krishna. Photo credit: Photosport

Wellington Phoenix have received a massive boost to their roster, with Fijian-born striker Roy Krishna gaining New Zealand citizenship.

Krishna, who has been in New Zealand since 2008, has previously taken up one of the club's five import spots, because he did not have citizenship.

But on Thursday, Krishna officially achieved that, meaning the Phoenix can sign another import in the January transfer window.

The Phoenix's four imports are English defender Steven Taylor, Spanish midfielder Mandi, and Poles Filip Kurto (goalkeeper) and Michal Kopczynski (midfielder).

Mark Rudan's side tried signing former Newcastle United and AC Milan forward Obafemi Martins, along with former Chelsea star Michael Essien in the offseason, but couldn’t get those deals over the line.

On Sunday, Krishna overtook Paul Ifill as the Phoenix's all-time leading scorer, when he netted his 34th goal in his 101st game in a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory.

On Wednesday, Krishna shot down reports he wants to leave the club after football website reported he wanted to depart for  China or Japan.

"I'd love to, but my main focus is to do well for myself," he said. "Hopefully, we can get to the playoffs and do well.

"He [Rudan] has taught me a lot - how you've got to believe in yourself, which I've been doing. He's a good guy and I have a huge respect for him."

The Phoenix are away to last year's minor premiers, Sydney FC, on Saturday.