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ISL: Can Sandesh Jhingan win his first league title?

07:45 GMT+3 10/03/2022
Sandesh Jhingan ATK Mohun Bagan ISL 8
The defender is yet to win a domestic league title in his career...

Sandesh Jhingan is a veteran of many battles. Since his senior professional debut with United Sikkim in October 2012, he has matured to become one of the best centre backs in the country. In his illustrious career, he has played for several top clubs in the country like Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru FC and now ATK Mohun Bagan.

In his first ISL (Indian Super League) season in 2014, he reached the final under David James with Kerala Blasters. He had an impressive outing in that campaign and went on to bag the Emerging Player of the Season award. However, in the championship decider, the Yellow Army lost to Atletico de Kolkata by a 1-0 margin. In 2016, he got a second bite at the cherry but had to return sour-mouthed as Kerala lost in tiebreakers to the same opponent.

In 2017, the 28-year-old, lifted his first senior trophy when he won the Federation Cup with Bengaluru FC. However, in I-League the Blues finished fourth which meant that Jhingan's dream of winning a league title remained unfulfilled.

When he joined ATK Mohun Bagan in 2020 he did not mince words to express how desperate he is to win a league.

"Like all footballers, I also regret not being able to win the ISL till now. It’s painful for every athlete not to win the trophy even after reaching the final. I felt the same. That’s why I want to win the league with ATK Mohun Bagan and touch the trophy this time," he had stated back then.

In the previous season, he just fell short of winning the championship as Bagan were beaten 3-1 by Mumbai City in the final. However, in this edition, Jhingan can make amends to his record.

The Mariners are in the semifinals of ISL and there are just three matches between the defender and the much-coveted ISL trophy. On Saturday, ATK Mohun Bagan will clash against Hyderabad FC in the first leg of the semifinal, with the return leg slated to be held on March 16. If Juan Ferrando's men win the tie on an aggregate score then they will book a berth for the final on March 20.

This is another chance for Jhingan to finally win a major trophy.