Kerala Blasters has gone for a complete revamp of their foreign contingent, with Chencho Gyeltshen being registered as their official Asian overseas player. In an exclusive interview with IFTWC, the fondly called ‘Bhutanese Ronaldo’ talks about his time in India, the KBFC project, the story behind his nickname, and more.
Chencho recently arrived in India and started training with his new teammates.
“Everyone in the squad is very friendly, I’m absolutely comfortable and open with them.”
When asked why he chose the Kerala project, Chencho said, “Kerala is a very professional club. I realized that I had made the correct decision on the first day itself when I spoke to them. I’m trying to understand the coach’s philosophy and play according to that.”
The Yellow Army finished 10th in the ISL last season, their worst ever outing in the league.
“The competition in the tournament is getting tougher, every team has prepared good squads.”
After a long break, Chencho played his first competitive minutes in Kerala’s last group match against Delhi FC, creating a few chances for his teammates, looking lively in his cameo.
“It’s always difficult to play after a long break, but I was ready. Whether I had to start or get a few minutes towards the end of the game, I was prepared from the get-go. I just gave my 100%”
The Bhutanese Ronaldo is the very first player from his country to play outside Bhutan, having plied his trade in Bangladesh, Thailand, and India.
“I’m very humbled to be the first Bhutanese player to play outside my country. I feel like every talented Bhutanese youngster now has a hope that they can get opportunities to play abroad.”
The forward is fondly called ‘CG7’ and the ‘Bhutanese Ronaldo’. On being asked whether there was any story behind his nickname, the 25-year-old laughed and said, “I think this is made by the media. I’m a huge fan of Ronaldo and wore the number 7 shirt in Bhutan. Once I scored a goal and celebrated like Ronaldo, that’s when everyone started calling me that. I’m very humbled that I’m called that.”
Chencho’s message to the Blasters fans
“It was my dream to play in front of the huge Kerala crowd. Unfortunately, we will not get to have them in the stands due to covid. My message to the fans will be to keep supporting us and we will give our 100% in every game.”
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