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Star India defender Jhingan reveals how he fought his way through rejection

IANS/New Delhi
Filed on June 7, 2020
Jhingan was rejected by lower-division teams in Kolkata initially. -- Sandesh Jhingan Twitter handle

When I shook hands with Bhaichung, I didn't feel like washing my hands afterwards: Jhingan

Sandesh Jhingan is now a free player and there are speculations over his next move. The star India defender parted ways with Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters earlier.

But it was not long back when Jhingan had got rejected by many second and even third division clubs in Kolkata, and that had put the central defender in doubt over his footballing future.

"It was during the starting phase of my career. Back then I was looking for clubs and I appeared for quite a few trials at a number of clubs in Kolkata -- even in the second and third divisions. But I was rejected by all," Jhingan revealed in a chat with AIFF TV.

"That is when I realised that I had to work harder in order to realise my dream,a he smiled. And that was when he was "picked-up by United Sikkim Football Club."

"That really was a dream come true for me. A couple of months back, I had been rejected by so many clubs in Kolkata, and now I was joking with Renedy bhai and Bhaichung bhai," Sandesh stated.

"We used to train under coach Stanley Rozario when we saw Renedy (Singh) taking some freekicks," recalled Jhingan. "I just felt like going on my knees and kissing his feet. When I shook hands with Bhaichung bhai, I didn't feel like washing my hands afterwards."

Since then, "enjoying situations" is what has enabled him to perform upon his shoulders, Jhingan maintained. "There's immense pressure when you're captaining a nation of 1.3 billion people," said Jhingan.

"The eyes are on you, and the stakes are high. But these are situations that I tend to enjoy a lot. There is, after all, an immense honour in wearing the captain's armband."

"Not everybody gets the opportunity to lead a country of 1.3 billion. Perhaps when I look back, I could tell my kids about such experiences," he continued.

"But the leadership role does not just end with the guy wearing the armband, it's about all the players. You may be the captain, but you still have to do your job on the pitch."


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