Dhanpal Ganesh is an Indian footballer, hailing from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He plays as a defensive midfielder for Chennaiyin FC in the ISL. After graduating from Pune F.C. Academy, he joined the Pune Club team in 2011, making him a first to do so. In December 2011, he made his debut professionally for the club against the Churchill Brothers at the Fatorda Stadium, where he entered as a substitute for Othallo Tabia at the 94th minute.
In April 2012, he started the game for the club for the first time in I-League against Salgocar. Later that year, he joined India’s U-23 squad for the 2013 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers. His debut match was against Lebanon in which India won 5-2. For the 2012-13 I-League season, Dhanpal was on loan to Pailan Arrows and in August of 2012, he played his debut match for the club at the Durand Cup.
Later, in October 2013, he debuted at the League for the Arrows in a game against Mumbai. At the end of the loan period, he was back at the Pune club for the 2013-14 season. He appeared in 14 fixtures throughout the competition and was a starting line-up regular in the second half of the season. He also debuted in the AFC Champions League against Hanoi T&T for a qualifier.
In 2014, he bagged his first senior goal at the Durand Cup for Pune and won the match against the Churchill Brothers. In the same year, he played until the 88th minute from the start in his first ever derby against Bharat FC. In March 2015, he played his first senior match against Nepal as a substitute for Eugeneson Lyngdoh. Later the same year, ISL team, Chennaiyin FC bagged him for the 2015-16 season.
Though he remained benched that year and the following year (2016-17), he continued to play for them. His chance to be on the field finally arose in the 2017-18 season. In his debut ISL game, he put up an excellent performance that impressed the team’s head coach, John Gregory, who was all praises for the Chennaite after the match. His last-minute header that clinched the team a win over Bangalore caught the eye of Indian National team’s coach Stephan Constantine who offered him with an opportunity to be part of the National Team, making him the only footballer from Tamil Nadu.
He gives the credit for his current success to Chennaiyin FC head coach, who has always encouraged and supported him even if he made mistakes. A humble and down-to-earth person, Dhanpal loves his fans as much as they love him and sees them all as his friends.