Cristiano Ronaldo's Hunger to Win Fascinates Even Indian Star Footballer Manvir Singh

© Photo : manvir_singh07/instagramFootballer Manvir Singh
Footballer Manvir Singh  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.10.2021
Manvir Singh is regarded as one of the hottest properties in Indian men's football at the moment. Widely believed to be the one who is likely to take over the mantle from skipper Sunil Chhetri as far as India's attacking line is concerned, Manvir played a major role in the national team's 2-1 triumph over Nepal last month.
Manvir Singh, 25, made his debut in the Indian Super League, the top tier of football in the country, with FC Goa in 2017-18 and was an integral part of their title winning campaign in 2019-2020. He currently plies his trade for ATK Mohun Bagan since joining the Bengal-based side last season.
In an interview with Sputnik, Manvir who has hogged the headlines with his stunning display of football skills, revealed his admiration for five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, while clearing the air about comparisons between him and Indian team captain Sunil Chhetri, among other issues.
Sputnik: How would you describe yourself as a player – a winger, or as a striker?

Manvir Singh: For a professional player, it's not that difficult. Every coach has its own style, and it's up to the player concerned to be fitting into the role.
If you look around the world, there are so many international superstars who have played different kinds of roles under various coaches. If you look nearer – that is at home – even (captain) Sunil Bhai (brotherly address for the captain) has adjusted to the different roles that he has been entrusted with.
I am a coach's player and will be sticking to the instructions.
Sputnik: Among international footballers, who is your favourite and why?
Manvir Singh: Cristiano Ronaldo. He is so focused, even in his mid-30s he is so fit and always wants to win.
Sputnik: Is there any one particular thing you would like to take from Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, and Robert Lewandowski?
Manvir Singh: Their hunger to better themselves with every given day.
Sputnik: You have often been compared with Indian captain Sunil Chhetri. How justified do you find it?

Manvir Singh: There cannot be any comparisons at all. He has 75 international goals to his name, I have just one. He has been an international footballer for 16 years, I have just started. These comparisons are just baseless. I look up to him. He inspires me.

Sputnik: Is there anything that you may have learned from Sunil during your time with the national team?

Manvir Singh: His commitment, discipline, tunnel vision. He lives for football, and everything is centered around the sport for him. Nowadays, I have learned to count the potatoes which I eat from him. Sunil-paaji being back makes my job easier.
He is someone who is so calm in front of the goal. His commitment is exemplary and an inspiration for everyone – not just for youngsters, but even for senior pros.

Sputnik: Captain Sunil Chhetri appears to have been a phenomenal player for India for so long. How would you describe his longevity?

Manvir Singh: People and fans just speak about it but they fail to look at the sacrifices which he has made. There have been mutual sacrifices from his family to help him out.
Very few know that his wife eats the same stuff he eats while at home. How many in the world do that? His ambition, and his zeal to serve Indian football keeps him going. He is the fittest one around.

Sputnik: Which other Indian player has had a deep influence on your game?

Manvir Singh: My dad. He is a former footballer and is someone whom I owe everything to. He taught me to fight, and keep going. I need to make him proud.

Sputnik: How do you look at your growth or maturity level as a striker in recent years?

Manvir Singh: Everyone matures with experience. But I am still learning. As a striker your basic job is to score. And a striker may just get one chance in a match.
If you are able to convert it, you are a match winner. That's what I am learning. You need to be calm, composed, unfazed by the situation.
Sputnik: Your father Kuldip Singh played in the Federation Cup, Durand Cup, Santosh Trophy, and a host of other tournaments. How does it feel to him to find you in an India jersey?

Manvir Singh: I am proud that I have been able to make him proud. He has always told me that there can be no shortcuts in life. He is an extremely hard-working man. I have to better him in that.

Sputnik: Apart from football, one sports star you admire the most and why?

Manvir Singh: I have always admired Sandip Singh. He was a tremendous hockey player. He is my idol.
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