While poignant tributes engulfed the nation following the 38-year old's retirement, Thapa too seemingly joined the nation in expressing his disappointment and sadness after hearing the news.
These days, Anirudh Thapa is a mainstay in the midfield ranks of Chennaiyin FC as well as the Indian football team. With MS Dhoni being a part-owner of the club, the two have had multiple conversations together.
In a video, Thapa went on to recount his experience conversing with Dhoni.
"I was quite sad because I like watching him play. The style he has and his aggressiveness is something I like and enjoy. Although I was sad when he retired, I can now hopefully watch him play in the IPL for the Chennai Super Kings," Thapa said.
He used to share his experience and motivate us: Anirudh Thapa
Speaking about his experience with Dhoni being a part of the Chennaiyin FC setup, Anirudh Thapa went on to state:
"He was a very humble person and always used to speak with us about his experiences. He used to come and speak with us during our team lunch and also speak to some of our younger players as well. There were also players from outside who used to ask for his autograph. When he gave it to them, I realized how humble he is."
"A few of the experiences of his life and his background we already know from his movie. But what he spoke to us in there was a big difference from the movie, and that fanboy moment for me is a very special thing," Thapa added.
The 22-year-old was able to draw parallels between the tough nature of football on the field to Dhoni's six-hitting abilities. He said, "Football is a tough and aggressive game, and aggression-wise, watching Dhoni hit those big sixes and powerful shots, it is very similar to a 50-50 tackle in football. So I put all that aggressiveness in a tackle."
The upcoming edition of the Indian Super League is set to begin in Goa on the 21st of November and will be played behind closed doors. Anirudh Thapa will be an important part of the Chennaiyin FC squad for the upcoming season.