Blue Tigers defender Sandesh Jhingan is the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2020-21, with midfielder Suresh Singh Wangjam being named the winner of the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2020-21 Award. Both the gamers have been voted by the membership coaches.

It is the primary time that the towering central defender has acquired the Player of the Year award, having received the Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2014.

He shared his pleasure at receiving the honour, saying: “Being voted by club coaches of the ISL and the I-League as the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2020-21 is a huge honour for me. I take this Award as a motivation to do better, and inspire others to follow their passion for the sport. A big thank you to AIFF, my family, my team-mates, support staff and all my coaches both at the club level, and at the National level for keeping their belief in me. And a big hug to all those teachers and well- wishers who have stood by me all throughout. This Award comes with a huge responsibility – not to let anyone down.”

Sandesh made his Senior National Team debut in 2015 in Guwahati and has since gone on to make 40 appearances for the Blue Tigers, scoring 4 objectives. He was a part of the Indian sides that lifted the Intercontinental Cup in 2018 and performed out a memorable draw on the house of the Asian champions Qatar in 2019.

Additionally, he has captained the senior group on 5 events, the newest being the International Friendly towards Oman in Dubai in March this yr. He additionally acquired the distinguished Arjuna Award from the Government of India in 2020.

20-year-old Suresh Singh Wangjam, who made his Blue Tigers debut earlier this yr towards Oman, turns into the most recent midfielder to win the Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year Award.

He acknowledged: “It’s an honour for me to receive the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2020-21 Award. I am extremely glad and thankful. This Award will improve my self-belief and will motivate me to achieve further success in the future.”

A former AIFF Academy cadet, Suresh was a part of the Indian aspect that competed on the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and spent two seasons with the AIFF’s developmental aspect Indian Arrows within the I-League. Known for his unending stamina and box-to-box play, the midfielder has notched up 5 senior nationwide group caps and began all three of India’s video games on the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Doha in June.

The winners for the awards have been chosen on the idea of votes from Indian Super League and I-League membership coaches.

“Heartiest congratulations to the Awardees. I hope they may proceed shifting ahead from energy to energy sooner or later and proceed to encourage with their performances and achievements,” AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel stated in his assertion.

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