Mahendra Singh Dhoni has yet another fan in Chennaiyin C midfielder Anirudh Thapa.

The 22-year-old Thapa said he treasures his interactions with Dhoni during times when former India cricket captain would drop in to meet the Chennaiyin footballers.

Dhoni is one of the co-owners of Chennaiyin FC, which has two Indian Super League titles to its name.

“He (Dhoni) used to come whenever we had a team lunch. He would stay back to talk to the boys and shared his experiences. He’s a very down to earth guy. He told us a lot about the struggles he has had to face in his own life and about his journey in cricket. Obviously thala is my favourite cricketer,” Thapa said in a session on the Instagram handle of the Indian football team.

READ| Virat Kohli picks his favourite World Cup matches

He added, “He also talked about the feeling and the moment when India won the World Cup. And that is something I will always remember because he is such a nice guy. What he has done and how successful he is can be seen by all. Hats off to you, Thala.”

Thapa, who has played 24 matches for India since 2017, continued that Dhoni made it point to spend time with the footballers.

“There were others who also asked him to come and sit with them, but instead he always preferred to sit with the footballers. He would say ‘Let me sit with the boys and let me share some experiences.’”

READ| Lockdown diaries: Sunil Chhetri dons the chef's hat

Thapa also shared his experience after being appointed Indian U-22 captain for the first time. “Honestly, at that time, I didn’t think that I deserved to be the captain. I spoke to my parents before the match but never told them that I was going to captain (the side).

“It was only when they watched it on TV that they realised it. It was more special because I had an assist and we won the match. I was happy that I could make my parents happy,” he said.