Sunil Chhetri, Captain of the Indian football team, is India’s inspiration and a ray of hope for fellow footballers. With 92 goals to his name in 142 international appearances, Sunil Chhetri is currently the third highest goal-scorer among active players in international matches, only behind Portuguese ace Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of Argentina. Chhetri is the fourth-highest goal-scorer in the overall list.
The Secunderabad-born footballer, who made his debut for Mohun Bagan in 2002, went on to play for USA’s Major League Soccer team Kansas City Wizards in 2010 as well as for the reserve team of the Sporting CP in the Portuguese football league back in 2012.
The footballer practices strict discipline and is on top of his game due to fitness and hard work.
Previously, Captain Chhetri achieved the feat of becoming 2nd highest gold scorer with 74 goals during their World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh. He scored two goals in 13 minutes to help India seal a 2-0 victory, India’s first win in a World Cup qualifier away from home since 2001.
Chhetri is only behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the all-time goal scorer’s list among active players in international football.
India’s goalkeeper and Chhetri’s teammate, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had previously said, “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked out of the tunnel with this man in front of me, for both, country and club, filled with an unreal sense of security that he will deliver when we need it the most. He just keeps turning up over and over again.”
The seven-time AIFF Player of the Year winner, has also represented major Indian clubs like East Bengal (2008-2009), Dempo (2009-2010), ISL sides Mumbai City FC (2015-2016) and Bengaluru FC. It’s with the Bengaluru-based club that Chhetri won major club trophies – I-League (2014 and 2016), ISL (2019), Super Cup (2018). He also led Bengaluru FC to the AFC Cup final in 2016.
While wearing the Indian jersey, Chhetri helped India win the Nehru Cup (2007, 2009, 2012) as well as the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship (2011, 2015, 2021). He also played a part in India’s 2008 AFC Challenge Cup win, which helped them qualify for the first AFC Asian Cup (2011) in 27 years.