Football forward Manvir Singh says playing with Sunil Chhetri has helped him learn how to stay in crunch moments.
Manvir was part of the India team that lost 0-1 to Qatar in a FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifier match.
India now play Afghanistan in the next match on June 15.
“My job becomes easier when I play alongside top strikers. I just watch Sunil bhai and try to imitate his calm in front of the goal. At the end of the day, that ice-cool head makes all the difference. That is education for me. In a match a striker won’t get a million chances,” said Manvir.
The 25-year-old who represents ATK Mohun Bagan said that his father always told him to look up to Chhetri and learn from him.
“My dad Kuldip Singh who played for PSEB as a striker and scored quite a few goals in the Federation Cup, Durand Cup and the IFA Shield besides a host of other tournaments always mentions to me to learn from Sunil-bhai the art of his longevity,” said Manvir.
“In fact, he had played against him, and always tells me ‘When you are seeing him from close, learn as much as you can. Sunil’s speciality is that he has been there for so long. And that is extremely hard work’.”
The Punjab-born Manvir added that India have derived confidence from their performance against Qatar. However, they need to forget it quickly and focus on the next match.
“We need to sustain the momentum gathered in the match against Bangladesh and even in the 0-1 loss against Qatar. But everyone is aware that all of that is past. The match on 15th is a fresh canvas. We need to paint it the right manner,” said Manvir.