Sandesh Jhingan, Indian international footballer and Kerala Blasters superstar has been honoured with the Arjuna award, and has received applauds from his fellow teammates, including the captain Sunil Chhetri, who praised the defender as a role model for the young generation.
The sports ministry’s selection committee has finalised the list of recommended sportspersons for this year’s Arjuna awards, and Sandesh Jhingan is the only footballer to make the cut into the list. He is also the 27th Indian footballer to be bestowed with the coveted award.
A great role model for youngsters: Sunil Chhetri lauds Sandesh Jhingan
The Indian football fraternity express their delight on welcoming Sandesh Jhingan to the ‘Arjuna club’, including the national skipper Sunil Chhetri, who himself won the prestigious title back in 2011, and messaged Jhingam personally.
“I wanted to be the first one to congratulate him when I heard the news. So I called him up and we had a hearty chat,” Chhetri said in an AIFF release.
“He is the perfect example of the new generation of Indian players – fearless, ambitious, and constantly willing to upgrade himself,” the 36 year old forward added.
Hailing from Chandigarh, the towering 6 ft 2 in centre back made his debut for the Blue Tigers in 2015, and has made 36 international appearances, scoring 4 times.
The Indian captain further continued, “He is a great role model for youngsters and is someone whom I trust blindly and feel secured every time we go together for war. Good luck to him.”
Following short stints at United Sikkim and Mumbai FC, Jhingan joined Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters in 2014, where he has made 78 appearances till this year, when he parted way with the club.
Veteran Indian goalkeeper Subrata Pal also joined in on commending Jhingan’s stupendous feat.
“Winning the Arjuna Award is a major achievement for any sportsperson. I hope he takes this award as motivation and continues to perform for his country and club, and bring more and more success,” Subrata, who himself won the award in 2016 stated.
2019 Arjuna awardee Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who also hails from Chandigarh, too congratulated the 27 year old: “It is a huge moment for your family. You have done them and all of Chandigarh proud. I hope you continue the way you have. You still have so much to give to Indian football.”