AIFF Player of the Year Sandesh Jhingan lists down India targets and opinion on Igor Stimac

AIFF Player of the Year Sandesh Jhingan lists down India targets and opinion on Igor Stimac

The ATK Mohun Bagan defender eyes 2023 Asian Cup qualification…

Indian national team and ATK Mohun Bagan defender Sandesh Jhingan received the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Men’s Player of the Year award on Wednesday.

This is the first time that the 28-year-old defender has received this prestigious award. In 2014, Jhingan had received the AIFF Men’s Emerging Player of the Year award.

After sitting out for the entire 2019/20 season due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury which he had suffered in 2019 while playing in a friendly match for the Indian team, Jhingan returned to action last season donning ATK Mohun Bagan jersey in the Indian Super League (ISL). The Kolkata giants with Jhingan on their side finished runners-up behind Mumbai City FC. 

The Green and Maroons’ defender revealed how he overcame the injury setback and came back to action within a year’s time.

What did Jhingan say?

“I was disappointed when I got to know about the ACL. I just went back and kept working. There’s always players who have achieved more or suffered more than you, whatever happened was nothing. It’s nothing compared to the real challenges of life.

“This injury or any other injury, everything happens for good, it’s about keeping faith in your work and being positive,” said the defender.

What are Sandesh Jhingan’s upcoming targets with the Indian team?

The former Kerala Blasters captain is eyeing the 2023 Asian Cup qualification and wants to give his best in the upcoming qualifiers.

“Our aim is to be in the Asian Cup in China. We want to make it better this time, there’s a lot of passion, determination, desire and enthusiasm going into this Asian Cup qualifiers.”

“Now it’s about doing well in the Asian Qualifiers and then stepping up each time. We want to do really well and play the Asian Cup. We want to do much better than last time and try to qualify from the group and play the knockout stage, that’s the plan now,” said the Indian defender.

What did Jhingan say about Igor Stimac?

The 28-year-old was in awe of head coach Igor Stimac’s achievements as a player while speaking about him and suggested how the Croatian coach has helped him.

Stimac represented the Croatian national team at the 1998 World Cup where the Croats finished third. Stimac had also played in the Premier League representing West Ham United.

“He (Stimac) has played at the highest level – the World Cup, the Premier League. So just being around him is a learning process. He helped me a lot and I’m really happy to have him as the national team coach,” stated the ATK Mohun Bagan star.

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