Don’t compare me with Sunil Chhetri, says Manvir Singh
ATK Mohun Bagan forward Manvir Singh on Thursday said that fans should stop comparing him to Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri.
Describing Sunil Chhetri as a legend, Manvir insisted that comparisons with Chhetri are premature and that he wants to first establish himself in the Indian national team.
"Replacing Chhetri is a huge thing, he is a legend. I don't want to compare myself with him. I have to showcase my own performances,” said Manvir, who is currently in Qatar preparing for India’s FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
While discussing his limited opportunities at his former club FC Goa, the 25-year-old said that a strong pre-season boosted his confidence and allowed him to perform consistently throughout the 2020-21 season for ATK Mohun Bagan.
"It was a wonderful journey. I didn't get regular game time at FC Goa but I used to have time here and there. It boosted my confidence. I realised the standards of the ISL and how to perform. Then I signed for ATK Mohun Bagan and I grabbed that opportunity to give my 100 per cent," the striker told footballmonk.com.
During Indian Super League 2020-21, Manvir scored six goals and assisted three more, which was by far his best campaign in India’s top-flight. The Punjab-born footballer received plenty of gametime with the Mariners and helped ATK Mohun Bagan reach the ISL 7 final, only to lose to eventual champions Mumbai City FC.
"I didn't get much opportunity at FC Goa. If someone comes (off the bench) in the 80th minute, what can you expect from him in those 10 minutes?
"Later, I spent the pre-season at Minerva Punjab in Chandigarh. The pre-season was very satisfactory. That momentum continued throughout the whole season. It levelled up my confidence and performance. It helped me a lot," Manvir said.
The striker made his presence felt for the Kolkata giants in the ISL last season, scoring a superb goal for ATK Mohun Bagan against arch-rivals SC East Bengal in the first Kolkata derby of the season.
"I felt very proud of myself to score in my first derby," Manvir said in the interview.
Manvir carried his ISL form onto the international stage after bagging an equaliser against Oman in a friendly in March. Since making his senior team debut for India, Manvir has found the back of the net four times for the Blue Tigers.
Featured photo: Manjunath KIRAN / AFP