Winger Lallianzuala Chhangte thinks his decision to sign a three-year contract with Mumbai City FC permanently is a move on the correct path for his professional growth. Chhangte made the move permanent last month and believes that playing in Mumbai will make him a much better player.
"It is the best choice for my future development. They are linked with the City Football Group so that can help me become a better player. Who knows, there might be a possibility to play outside India if I perform well,” Chhangte told Hindustan Times during an interview.
"They are serious about football, not just wanting to compete in India. We saw that in the Asian Champions League, we weren't just participating there, we were performing. Mumbai City has a plan which is a very good thing for a player,” he added.
Mumbai City FC excelled in the AFC Champions League, giving the best showing by an Indian club in the tournament as they placed second in their group, following a disastrous later part of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021–22 season that saw them lose out on a semi-final position.
Chhangte put up great performances in those games, demonstrating his potential. “It was a great experience for the whole team, not just for me. I feel very blessed. We are not just representing Mumbai City but the whole country,” the 25-year-old said about playing in the AFC Champions League.
"We were there in the ACL the whole time. We could have done better but every time we played a match we made it so difficult for the opponents. They are all strong teams, we knew that, but we were competing. Some of those players later told us that we are a very hard team to beat. That tells us that we are improving a lot. If we work hard then soon we will be able to compete consistently in Asia," he added.
Prior to the AFC Asian Cup the next season, Chhangte aims to resurrect his future with the Indian national side after joining Mumbai City FC. The winger was a member of the 41-person team before the recently ended qualifications, but he was unable to reach the final roster.
However, Chhangte is still optimistic about playing a significant role for India in the future and says he is working to develop the skills necessary for him to earn a starting position.
"I was there in the 41-player list but unfortunately I wasn't in the final squad. They did a pretty good job in the qualifiers. I will be back soon, that is for sure," said Chhangte.
"This only makes me stronger. When one opportunity is gone, another comes and I am not going to just stand still and think oh, I am not in the national team. My mindset is always that I will give my best for the country and the club and I am going to be one of the main men for the team," added Chhangte.
The winger has now made 97 appearances in the league and is currently the third-highest Indian goal scorer in Hero ISL history. Chhangte has till age 25 to gradually live up to his potential and establish himself as an important member of both his club and his nation.