AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: BlueTigers midfielder Anirudh Thapa hailed ‘Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, stating that the former Indian cricket team captain takes every opportunity to boost the morale of him and his teammates whenever he’s around.
Thapa took to the official Indian Football Team Instagram handle on Friday (May 9), to answer multiple questions from fans in a live chat. And when asked as to who his favourite cricketer is, the 22-year-old wasted no time in going gaga about “Thala Dhoni.”
“Obviously Thala is my favourite cricketer. Who else can it be for me,” he stated.
The midfielder also went on to state how Dhoni would often join the players at Chennaiyin FC for lunch and share different experiences he has had with the Indian cricket team, and his life over the years.
“He used to come whenever we had a team lunch. He stayed back to talk to the boys and share his experiences. He’s a very down to earth guy,” continued Thapa. “There were others who also asked him to come and sit of them, but instead he always preferred to sit with the footballers,” Thapa informed.
“He’d say, ‘Let me sit with the boys and let me share some experiences.’ He told us a lot about the struggles he has had to face in his own life, and about his journey in cricket.”
“He also talked about the feeling and the moment when they won the World Cup. And that is something that I will always embrace because he is such a nice guy. What he has done and how successful he is, can be seen by all. Hats off to you, Thala,” Thapa said with a little salute.
Dhoni became only the second Indian captain to win the ICC World Cup, when he lifted the coveted trophy at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in 2011.
Thapa also shared his experience about being the Indian U-22 captain for the first time.
“Honestly, at that time, I didn’t think that deserved to be the captain. I spoke to my parents before the match but never told them that I was going to captain. It was only then they watched it on TV that they realised it. It was more special because I assisted one goal and we won the match. I was happy that I could make my parents happy.”