Sandesh Jhingan has become the first Indian footballer to play in Croatian top-tier league Prva HNL. The Indian defender completed a move from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik and will soon be in action in Sibenik colors.
28-year-old Sandesh Jhingan will be the flag bearer of India’s top division league, the Indian Super League (ISL), in European football. His transition to a European top-division league will be an inspiring story for many aspiring footballers.
The prospect of playing in Europe in one of the top-leagues has given Sandesh Jhingan new opportunities to test himself to the hilt. The Indian defender was excited to have the opportunity to move to HNK Sibenik in the Prva HNL in Croatia. He said:
“I think I am at a stage of my career where I really want to test myself in the highest-level possible and I think this is the perfect platform for me. As I have said, it has been my desire to play in Europe and I have taken up this challenge upon myself.”
Sandesh Jhingan added:
“A big thank you to the head coach Mario Rosas and the owners and management for giving me the opportunity to come here. I cannot wait to get going and look forward to giving 100 percent at every given opportunity.”
Sandesh Jhingan gives a good first impression
Francisco Cardona, CEO of HNK Sibenik, said it is only a matter of time before the Indian player becomes a vital cog in the team’s strategies.
“We are very happy to have Sandesh with us. We expect good things from him as we have followed him on different platforms where we were able to see his past performances. Although we know the adaptation process might take him a few weeks, we are confident that with his quality and leadership, he will become an important member of the team.”
Sandesh Jhingan was named India’s footballer of the year in July and the Indian defender made a good first impression in Croatia when he watched HNK Sibenik’s home game win against Hrvatski Dragovoljac. Francisco Cardona added:
“He made a very good impression on the staff and fans of the club when he was watching the last home game from the stands. He showed passion and energy for the team.”
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HNK Sibenik coach Mario Rosas was all praise for Sandesh Jhingan and lauded his decision to move out of his comfort zone.
“We are very happy that Sandesh is with us. We know he will help us achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves during the season. His stint here will help him grow as a player and person. We hope that he will continue to be an example for Indian footballers. He has demonstrated his ambition and competitiveness by wanting to get out of his comfort zone and show what Indian footballers are capable of.”