From the terrains of Mizoram to the flanks in Hero ISL: The rise of Lallianzuala Chhangte

Coming from the state of Mizoram, widely known for its variety of flora and fauna along with the rugged rivers and terrains that are ideal for various outdoor sports and activities, Lallianzuala Chhangte made it his goal to play in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) after shining bright in the 2014-15 season of the U-19 I-League.

Born on June 8, 1997, Chhangte who a product of Liverpool's academy in India impressed everyone with his quick feet, raw pace and mazy skills. From the early age possessed a killer finish that saw him signed by Hero ISL side NorthEast United FC at a young age. He then moved to Chennaiyin FC where he blossomed further as a player and joined Mumbai City FC in January 2022 on loan before making the switch permanent in June, aiming to bring more joy with his dancing feet to the 'city that never sleeps.'

“He has got the speed of a greyhound, he will turn up the burners for five minutes and set up a goal,"  commented Hero ISL expert Paul Masefield while speaking about the exciting forward.

“In full flight, there are very few footballers that can excite and entertain like Lallianzuala Chhangte, so Chhangte, please keep doing what you do so beautifully," stated Anant Tyagi, who has been an anchor and commentator in the Hero ISL.

“My family has supported me since the first day, and without their support I would be nothing,” stated Chhangte, whose journey from the terrain of Lunglei in Mizoram to the Hero ISL has been quite remarkable.

The winger has been on fire  since joining Mumbai City FC and has been an instrumental figure in helping his team stay at the top of the points table with four goals and one assist this season.

The head coach of Mumbai City FC, Des Buckingham, was extremely delighted to have been able to work with a player of Lallianzuala Chhangte’s calibre and explained what it means to him. “What I have really enjoyed about working with Chhangte is his ability to really work on his game on and off the field. He is a very bright young man, and he is very keen to learn," he said.

Chhangte has a relatively smaller frame but he isn't afraid to take on players and indulge in physical duels against players much bigger in size. “He is is going to get kicked, people are going to try and knock him off his stride, he will bounce back up but he will get at you again and he will get down the wing and that is what excited the fans," Masefield said.

Mumbai City FC midfielder and Chhangte’s teammate, Lalengmawai Ralte also spoke highly of his abilities. "His strength is his speed, he can shoot from distance, and he is very important for us," stated Ralte.

Lallianzuala Chhangte has come a long way from the streets of Mizoram to playing on the biggest stage in Indian football, winning the South Asian Championship, and being the top scorer in the Durand Cup — all at such a young age, which has kept him motivated and hungry to achieve more in his career.

Lallianzuala Chhangte understands his role in the team and wants to take every day as a challenge and give his best. “I will dedicate every day to reach my goals and take every day as a challenge,” the winger concluded.

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