Sandesh Jhingan Of India Has Joined HNK Sibenik In Croatia's Top-Tier Football League

After completing a transfer from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik, Sandesh Jhingan will become the first Indian player to play in Croatia's top flight.

Sandesh Jhingan Of India Has Joined HNK Sibenik In Croatia's Top-Tier Football League
Sandesh Jhingan Of India Has Joined HNK Sibenik In Croatia's Top-Tier Football League

After finalising a trade from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik, Sandesh Jhingan will become the first Indian international footballer to play in Croatia's top-tier league, Prva HNL. The 28-year-old, who was named India's footballer of the year last month, is already in Croatia, where he saw Hrvatski Dragovoljac triumph at home on Sunday."We expect good things from him as we have followed him on different platforms where we were able to see his past performances," said Francisco Cardona, CEO of HNK Sibenik.

"Although we recognise that the adjustment process may take a few weeks for him, we are certain that with his talent and leadership, he will quickly establish himself as an essential member of the team." When he was in the stands for the club's last home game, he left a strong impact on the personnel and supporters. He exuded enthusiasm and vigour for the squad "Cardona continued. Jhingan was ecstatic to be offered a position with HNK Sibenik in Croatia's Prva HNL. 

"I believe I am at a point in my career when I want to put myself to the ultimate test, and I believe this is the ideal venue for me.As I have stated, it has always been my ambition to play in Europe, and I have accepted this challenge," the top defender added. 

"I'd want to express my gratitude to head coach Mario Rosas, as well as the owners and management, for providing me with the chance to come here. "I'm excited to get started and look forward to giving my all at every chance," Jhingan added. HNK Sibenik, which was founded on December 1, 1932, returned to the top flight last season under new management. The team came in sixth place in the league, barely two spots short of qualifying for European tournaments.

The club lies in Sibenik, Croatia's Dalmatian area, a city with breath-taking fortifications that have protected it for years, as well as the majestic Cathedral of St. James, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

"We are overjoyed that Sandesh has joined us. We are certain that he will assist us in achieving the objectives we have set for ourselves this season. HNK Sibenik coach Mario Rosas stated, "His stay here will help him improve as a player and as a person." 

Jhingan's initiative to step outside of his comfort zone was lauded by the Spanish coach. "We hope he would continue to serve as an inspiration to Indian players."By trying to step out of his comfort zone and show what Indian players are capable of, he has proven his desire and competitiveness," Rosas added. 

Jhingan began his childhood career at Chandigarh's St. Stephen's Football Academy before joining United Sikkim in the top league in 2011. Sandesh rose to fame as a young 21-year-old player during the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014, when he was named Emerging Player of the League.

A feat that helped him earn a place in the senior India national team making his debut in 2015 against Nepal at the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers. The defender has two ISL runners-up medals with Kerala Blasters FC where he spent six years and moved to ATK Mohun Bagan in 2020 after missing the previous season due to injury.