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Sunil Chhetri announces retirement from international football

May 16, 2024 10:46 AM IST

India’s football paragon Sunil Chhetri on Thursday announced his decision to retire from international football. The national team captain will play his final match against Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup qualification on June 6.

Chhetri, who has been the face of Indian football for nearly two decades, shared the news through a heartfelt video on his social media accounts.

(17) Sunil Chhetri on X: “I’d like to say something…” / X (

In March, Chhetri marked his 150th appearance for India with a goal against Afghanistan in Guwahati, although India narrowly lost that match 1-2.

Chhetri, who made his debut in 2005 against Paksitan, has netted 94 goals for the country. He will leave the stage as India’s all-time top scorer and most-capped player. He is also third in the list of goal scorers among active players behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Heading into Chhetri’s final international match next month, India sits second in Group A of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers with four points, trailing leaders Qatar. Kuwait, with three points, is currently in fourth place.

Throughout his illustrious two-decade career, the 39-year-old striker has garnered six AIFF Player of the Year awards. He has also been honored with the Padma Shri in 2019 and the Arjuna Award in 2011.

By: Aditya Ahuja

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Last updated on: 22nd May 2024