Following his transfer from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik, Sandesh Jhingan will become the first Indian international football player to feature in the Croatian top-flight Prva HNL.
The 28-year-old is already in Croatia and watched the victory against Hrvatsky Dragovoljac on Sunday, he was named India’s footballer of the year last month.
“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, HNK Sibenik.
“Although we know the adaptation process might take him a few weeks, we are confident that he will become an important member of the team with his quality and leadership. He made a very good impression on the club’s staff and fans when he was watching the last home game from the stands. He showed passion and energy for the team,” Cardona added.
Jhingan is looking forward to this golden opportunity of playing in the Croatian top-flight.
“I think I am at a stage of my career where I really want to test myself at the highest level possible and I think this is the perfect platform for me,” said Jhingan.
“As I have said, I have desired to play in Europe and I have taken up this challenge upon myself,” the defender said.
“A big thank you to the head coach Mario Rosas and the owners and management for allowing me to come here. I cannot wait to get going and look forward to giving 100% at every given opportunity,” Jhingan added.
HNK Sibenik was founded on December 1, 1932, and returned last season under the new management to the Premier Division. The club finished sixth in the league, only two places lower than the European competition.
“We are very happy that Sandesh is with us. We know he will help us achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves during the season. His stint here will help him grow as a player and person,” said HNK Sibenik coach Mario Rosas.
“We hope that he will continue to be an example for Indian footballers. He has demonstrated his ambition and competitiveness by wanting to get out of his comfort zone and show what Indian footballers are capable of,” said Rosas.