Indian midfielder rudh Thapa has revealed as to how the aggression displayed by wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni helped in shaping his career.
Dhoni had announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15 and now Thapa has mentioned that he is looking forward to seeing him play in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"I have always enjoyed watching Dhoni play because of the style he has. The aggression, I really like that. It has influenced me in my game too, as football is a game where you need to be tough and aggressive. Watching him hit those powerful shots and big sixes -- it has had an effect on me and helped me to into those 50-50 challenges fiercely and win them," the official website of All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Thapa as saying.
"When I heard the news of his retirement, I was obviously very sad because I'm a big fan of him. Hopefully, I can watch him play in the IPL this time," he added.
The midfielder has made 55 appearances for Hero ISL side Chennaiyin FC and was part of their title-winning side in the fourth edition of the competition. He talked about how Dhoni, who is also the co-owner of the same team, would speak to the players and motivated them.
"Dhoni is a very humble man, besides being a great person who is always motivating us and sharing his experiences. At team lunches, he would come up and talk to us. He has seen so much in life and all of us are aware of his background. So what he told us made a big difference. It was amazing to gain that experience and it was truly a fanboy moment for me," Thapa said.
"I remember that after one particular lunch everyone was leaving and some of the young players came up to him to speak to him and ask for his autograph. Other people were calling him but he insisted he will talk to us. He gave us his time and shared his experiences with us. That was the time I realized how humble he is. It is one of the biggest positives I have seen and learnt from him," he added.
Dhoni's words of wisdom have surely had a positive impact on the young midfielder and now Thapa offered some valuable tips for budding footballers himself.
"You need to understand the game of football. If you understand it, playing it becomes a lot easier. You need to be acquainted with basic things such as your first touch, passing, positional sense, always checking over your shoulders, etc. If you learn or master these basic things, which are not taught but still are very important, you can play football well. All these things are interconnected with each other," Thapa concluded.
( With inputs from ANI )
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor