Sarpreet Singh. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
CHENNAI: It has been a season of learning for Bayern Munich’s Sarpreet Singh. The New Zealand attacking midfielder, whose parents hail from Punjab, has had to largely watch the action from the bench as the German giants have racked up another Bundesliga title to their tally.
Given that Sarpreet was making the step up from football in New Zealand, it’s understandable that he has had to bide his time and wait for his turn at one of Europe’s top clubs. But there are signs that Sarpreet will be given further opportunities next season.
He made his first start for Bayern last week when he played against SC Freiburg, becoming the first Indian-origin player to start a Bundesliga match. The 21-year-old is content with how the title-winning season went.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be able to win my first Bundesliga title. It’s a huge moment for me. Growing up in New Zealand, I always looked to Europe and wanted to play at the highest level in Europe. I am very fortunate and blessed to be in this position. I am in an environment where I am in a top team and I’m always learning and growing. I hope this is the first of many. I know there is a lot of hard work ahead,” Sarpreet said during an interaction shared by the Bundesliga with TOI.
While Bayern still remain keen participants in the Champions League this season, having beaten Chelsea 3-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 clash before the Covid-19 pandemic brought things to a halt, Sarpreet has already set sights on achieving certain goals next season.
“My biggest goal is to play as many games as possible at a high level. I am fortunate to be at Bayern and be under the guidance of such great coaches. Some of the players too have been here for many years and experienced many wins and successes. I am in the perfect environment where I can learn from them and grow. I have been in Europe for only one year now. There is still plenty of time for me. The biggest thing for me is to continue to work on myself to be a top professional. I look at the players who play every week and how professional they are. They put in a lot of hard work. That’s what it comes down to. If you put in the work, the rewards will come,” he explained.
While Sarpreet’s primary focus is on his game, he is probably unaware of the role he can play in motivating youngsters from New Zealand as well as India to play in Europe. Sarpreet acknowledged the support of his parents in the attacking midfielder being able to make it to a club like Bayern.
“My family are very proud of what I have achieved so far. Without them, none of this would have been possible. They are part of everything that’s happened to me. I owe them a lot. They have made a lot of mini-sacrifices for me to be here. I hope one day I can give back to them in whatever way possible. I hope I can make them proud,” Sarpreet added.