Wishes poured in from the Blue Tigers as National Team defender Sandesh ‘Ironman’ Jhingan was officially announced as an HNK Sibenik player, making him the first Indian defender to sign a professional contract in Europe.
National Team midfielder Pronay Halder, who has been an integral part of the Indian Senior National Team since his International in 2015 recalled his memories of playing with Sandesh – both at the club level, and for India. “Proud of you Sandesh, Good luck,” Pronay stated. “I wish you all the best. I hope you have settled down. Keep rocking.”
Jhingan became the fifth Indian male footballer to sign a professional contract in Europe after Bhaichung Bhutia, Subrata Paul, Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. That apart, Sunil Chhetri was also contracted with MLS club Kansas City.
“Big congratulations Sandesh-paaji,” quipped Anirudh Thapa. “It’s a big achievement for Indian Football – all the best. We understand that when you come back you will be an entirely different player, and it will all transpire on to us. Go out and play your game – have fun,” Anirudh expressed.
The Blue Tigers are currently camping in Kolkata in preparation for the forthcoming International Friendlies against Nepal in September.
Defender Adil Khan, lauded Sandesh on being brave, and taking a very brave decision. “Congratulations Sandesh. It’s a great decision that you have taken. We are all very proud of you. You inspire us all. The youth all over the country will look up to you, try to imitate you and follow your footsteps,” Adil, who has partnered Sandesh as a central defender for the National team, opined.
‘Assist Master’ Brandon Fernandes stressed on this being an extremely “proud moment.”
“I want to wish you all the best of luck in your new journey. This is a proud moment not just for Indian Football but the country overall,” Brandon commented. “I wish you success and hope you do well. I also hope Sandesh’s move opens up a lot of new avenues for aspiring and established Indian footballers.”
“Give your heart out to everything like always when you play,” the soft-spoken Mandar Rao Dessai echoed. “You have made all of us very proud. I wish you the best for your new journey.”