Sandesh Jhingan will have to wait longer to become India’s first international footballer to play in the Croatian top-tier league Prva HNL. Less than 30 hours before their match against Rijeka FC, HNK Sibenik head coach Mario Rosas revealed that Jhingan was injured.
This comes three days after Jhingan joined the Croatian club amidst much fanfare. Referring to injuries in the team, the coach ruled out Jhingan and Haitian Christopher Attys, who came on loan from Inter Milan. The two of them are out of contention for now.
“Mesa and Julardzija may be lost for the whole season, there will be no Bilic, while Kvesic and Sahiti are questionable. We also have to solve the paperwork for Sandesh and Attys. But that will not and must not be an excuse for us,” he said, revealing that Jhingana tormented and injured:
“Sandesh did an MRI, the doctors’ opinions are different. According to some, he might be able to continue training next week, but we’ll see, hopefully it’s nothing serious.”
Named India’s footballer of the year last month, the 28-year-old Jhingnan moved to Croatia after completing a move from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik.
Founded on December 1, 1932, HNK Sibenik returned to the premier division last season under a new management. The club finished sixth in the league, just two positions below qualification to European competitions.
The club is located in Sibenik, the Dalmatian region of Croatia, a city with breath-taking fortresses protecting it for centuries and a beautiful Cathedral of St. James, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Sandesh emerged into the Indian football scene during the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) when he was adjudged the Emerging Player of the League in 2014, a feat that helped him earn a place in the senior India national team. He made his debut in 2015 against Nepal at the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers.