Six years ago against Chennaiyin FC Sandesh Jhingan made his debut for Kerala Blasters. I still remember that moment, shoulder-length hair and he looked very confident. That day no-one knew that he was going to be our captain. He grew up not just as a footballer also a person along with us, carrying our Crest close to his heart. Like we say made for each other Kerala Blasters and Sandesh Jhingan seemed to be a perfect match. We saw him grow. For us, he was not just a player. He was like a family member. We kept him close to our heart. I believed that he was going to retire from Kerala. The rumors of him rejecting the offers of other clubs were a wonder to me, that made my belief grow stronger.
Five years passed and the club announced that he has signed an extension which will keep him at the club for another three years. We were on cloud nine, our precious one is staying here for another three years. But bad luck found us again. Sandesh Jhingan got injured during a national team friendly against Northeast United. Sleeping that day was an impossible thing. No one slept, we cannot lose him for a long time. We knew that it was going to cost us a lot. Someone we love more than anything got injured and that was a miserable night knowing it was an ACL rupture. We prayed for his speedy recovery.
When he took baby steps after the surgery we celebrated it. Tracked his recovery progress and waited for his return to lead our defense. The season ended as an average season. After two months news came out “Sandesh Jhingan likely to part ways with Kerala Blasters”. I couldn’t believe what I just read. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I couldn’t even gain back my consciousness to realize that I was having my dinner and my family is watching. I can still recall that day like it happened yesterday. Manjappada telegram group went crazy and it remained active till 4 am. What feel crazier now is that he will be our rival next season. What I immediately recalled was about Luis Figo and his crazy transfer to Real Madrid.
This is gonna hurt so bad. And it does hurt so bad. Looking back at my favorite Jhingan-Kerala Blasters moment, it was the last-minute goal by Pearson, came from his pass. Yes! It hurts that he is not going to be our player anymore, but that has nothing to do with the love we have for our club. Jhingan will remain in our heart for what he did for us and wishing him all success and happiness in his future. Taking the words of Sir Alex Ferguson – “It doesn’t matter who leaves Manchester United, the name of Manchester United does not change”. At the end of the day, Kerala Blasters is what matters the most to me. My heart beats for it and it will remain that way till I die.
Author : Aswathy Santhosh, Ernakulam