‘I will be tested to the limit in Croatia’

It’s quite challenging but I trust myself, my work ethic, says defender Jhingan

Trusted for his leadership qualities by his new club HNK Sibenik, Indian centre-back Sandesh Jhingan feels he will be “tested to the limit” while enhancing his game outside his comfort zone at Croatian league Prva HNL.

Jhingan will become the first India international footballer to play in the Croatian top-tier league after completing a move from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik.

“This will enhance my game. This is where I would be tested to my limit. Challenges wise, if I can put in the work, if I stay disciplined enough then I can see if I can get into the starting XI.

“It’s quite challenging but I trust myself, my work ethic, it’s always on me whether I will play or not,” Jhingan said during a virtual interaction on Thursday.

The top central defender added, “It has been my personal desire to play in Europe and I have taken up this challenge upon myself.”

He thanked his previous club ATK Mohun Bagan for backing him when he was down with an injury, even as some gave up on on the player.

Difficult decision

“The move from ATK Mohun bagan to Sibilik was difficult because I have a lot of respect for their (ATK Mohun Bagan) management and owners.

The Croatian club is owned by a Colombian company and its director Eduardo Zapata is delighted to have Jhingan on board, from a footballing point of view as well as its aim to promote multi-culturalism.

“We are thrilled about Sandesh coming here. I am Colombian owner in Croatian football.

“We are very open to everything as we aim to become a big international club. This is a great step in that direction.

“I don’t care if he is from India or Argentina. Sandesh is a good player and we all agree on it. The decision is made by the coach and we move forward.”

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