The 27-year-old midfielder also spoke about his journey in the Indian hockey team.
The Indian hockey team has been playing with a different panache in the last few years under the captaincy of the flamboyant Manpreet Singh, who also happens to be a fan of football great Cristiano Ronaldo and said the Portuguese has been the biggest influence on his career.
Manpreet Singh took over the captaincy of the Indian team in 2017 and has been a focal point since then. He also won the prestigious FIH Hockey Stars Player of the Year award for 2019.
“As for now, I would say Cristiano Ronaldo. There are so many things about him that I admire. One of which is never giving up in anything you do and to keep pushing yourself to be the best,” said Manpreet Singh to the FIH.
Although, it was his brothers and former captain of the Indian team Sardar Singh, who influenced him to pick up a stick and play hockey. He revealed, “My two elder brothers played hockey when I was a kid and the second is former India hockey captain Sardar Purashkar Singh. They both influenced me to play hockey.”
After some brilliant performances by the team in recent times, Indian fans have also started to believe that a major title could be just around the corner. In 2012, the Indian team was sitting at the 12th position in the FIH world rankings, but now they have climbed up to the fourth position, their highest placement since the rankings were introduced in 2003.
The Indian captain stated that his ultimate aim is to win an Olympic medal. Manpreet Singh remarked, “I am proud of our Asian Games campaign in 2014, when we won our gold medal. Second, as a captain, it would be the Asia Cup 2017, where we also won a gold medal in Dhaka.”
“I would not have been able to do it without the support of my teammates and the coaching staff. I’m here today just because of them. My biggest ambition as a captain and player is winning a medal at the Olympics, for the nation.”
However, the current coronavirus crisis has put the team’s practice on hold, as they are stuck at the SAI centre in Bengaluru. “Besides playing FIFA on the Play Station, I’ve been doing my own personal training, recovery and gym work (in my room), being monitored (over the internet) by our trainer using the (personal) schedule given,” concluded Manpreet.