Chencho Gyeltshen is someone who doesn’t need an introduction to the Indian football circuit. The Bhutanese attacker has made his mark wherever he tied his boot and this time, it’s time for the yellow army. How much do you know him? Let’s hear his story!
Did you know that Bhutan’s national game is archery? Young Chencho was an athlete, but not football, not archery, taekwondo was the first discipline he learned.He says, “Bhutan’s national game is archery and it’s a tradition to play during our free time, but only a few can take it as a career. During our time, nobody had a full-time job playing archery and me playing football should be considered destiny, because I never thought I could play when I was playing taekwondo before. So football was my destiny “.
Everyone has had their struggling days which now they look back makes them stronger. Chencho’s father was a farmer and was not happy with his son playing football back then, little did he know his son was made for doing wonders! Chencho recalls that he played amateur football without his father’s knowledge and went for trials in Thailand for Buriram United.
“Back then nobody was earning from football, so even my parents used to worry and would always let me focus on my studies. But I decided myself that I would make all the odds even and that’s how I decided to go for trials in Thailand, which shocked and worried my parents. But eventually, they were convinced to let me go and achieve my dreams.”
When initially Chencho came to India back in 2017, not everyone was happy. Chencho had to hear from people that he was not good enough to play in India.”Nothing ever comes easy and whatever comes easy, fades away, so I would say that my hard work and dedication paid me off and helped my team Minerva Punjab to be the champions. I’m sure everyone might have underrated me, but only hard work and dedication pay you off.” Says the man himself.
You might be aware of the fact that Chencho is dearly called Bhutanese Ronaldo. But do you know how he got the name and that he is a true red devil, who is on cloud nine with Ronaldo’s homecoming? “Ronaldo is my icon. He is someone I always look upon and I am very humbled to be called Bhutanese Ronaldo, which I don’t deserve actually but because he is my icon and I wear the jersey number 7 for my country, I got that name. Ronaldo coming to Manchester United is a dream come true for me because favorite player, playing for the favorite team is something everybody dreams of.”
Chencho brings in the vast experience of playing the beautiful game across South Asia and truly believes that football in the region has developed and changed a lot, especially in his home country, Bhutan. But what has not changed with time is the undying love from the Bhutanese people for their captain. The fans from the Himalayan Kingdom often travel to see their legend tie his boots.”Bhutanese people are my biggest support system, who always backs me no matter what happens, even during my worst days and I always take them as my motivators who always pushes me, wake me, and roar for me.”
Chencho made his national team debut at a very young age and was part of Bhutanese football for a very long time. He recalls Bhutan’s historic win over Sri Lanka back in 2015, where Sri Lankan coach Kavazovic asked for his jersey after the match.”I made my appearance for the national team when I was 17 years old. But back then I was the youngest in the squad, so there were fewer chances for me to get some playtime. But gradually, I worked hard and got through to playing in the first eleven. The match against Sri Lanka was a turning point for football in Bhutan because, after the match, football became popular, people started to appreciate us and support us. It’s always a humbling experience to have someone very experienced ask for my jersey.”
He cherishes the winning goal against Sri Lanka in the Changlimithang national stadium, in front of thirty thousand fans as his favorite moment in his career so far. We hope that Chencho will add a lot of goals and memories to this story in the future.