Indian men’s national football team defender Sandesh Jhingan opened up on his spell in Croatia as he returned to Indian Super League (ISL) club ATK Mohun Bagan during the mid-season transfer window.

Jhingan joined Croatian top-tier club HNK Sibenik in early 2021, but as fate would have it, Jhingan’s time with HNK Sibenik was marred by injury setbacks and other issues. The 2020 Indian footballer of the year spent four months with the Croatian club and parted ways with them, followed by a reunion with former club ATK Mohun Bagan.

“It was okay, everything in life is an experience. When I decided to go there, I wanted to go out of my comfort zone, so I knew where I was heading. I spoke with the coach about how I can learn from the Croatian players and help the team, it was productive. I got injured on the second or third day, which was unexpected."

"But I have no regrets about how it went there because I had given everything. Many times, no matter how hard you work, no matter how big your plans are, if it's not gonna happen, it's not gonna happen,” Jhingan told Hindustan Times in an interview.

The 28-year-old took the criticism in a nonchalant way, elaborating that his move to play in Europe was a courageous decision and that it made him more of a winner for trying to take a big step rather than staying in his comfort zone.

The defender, who is yet to make his debut in this campaign of the Hero ISL, appreciated his club ATK Mohun Bagan for being supportive of him.

“I'm happy to be back. When there was a change in management and the coach left in Sibenik, I decided with my family that I think I should come back now to fix this injury. I wanted to start playing quickly because we had important national games coming up. ATK Mohun Bagan were very supportive even after the ACL,” said India's number 5.

The Mariners, under new head coach Juan Ferrando, are on an eight-match unbeaten run, and are sixth in the league standings with 20 points in 12 games, having three games in hand.