×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Sunil Chhetri to retire from international football: 5 records of the Indian goal machine

The end to Chhetri's international career would be fitting at Indian football's spiritual home, Kolkata.
Last Updated : 16 May 2024, 11:31 IST
Last Updated : 16 May 2024, 11:31 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Football was not very close to Sunil Chhetri's heart during his days as a bubbly teenager with proclivity for pranks. He was only looking to use the sport as a vehicle to gain entry to a reputed college and continue his education.

Coming from a family with a background in football, Sunil was not aware that he was destined for greater things in the beautiful game, but his army-man father Kharga Chhetri had an inkling.

As Chhetri senior nursed a dream to see his son become a professional footballer and achieve what he could not, Sunil's career started to take shape in the national capital as he represented City Club Delhi from 2001-02.

Then came the big break as Indian club football heavyweights Mohun Bagan, enamoured by his skills with the ball, signed him in 2002.

The rest, as they say, is history that deserves to be revisited on a day he declared that he would call time on his glorious, two-decade international career after the World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait next month.

The end to his international career would be fitting at Indian football's spiritual home, Kolkata.

In this context, let us take a look at 5 of Chhetri's records:

Most capped player for India

Sunil Chhetri (Blue jersey no. 11) greets the spectators after the team's victory against Kenya during the Hero Intercontinental football Cup, in Mumbai on Monday, June 04, 2018.

Sunil Chhetri (Blue jersey no. 11) greets the spectators after the team's victory against Kenya during the Hero Intercontinental football Cup, in Mumbai on Monday, June 04, 2018.

Credit: PTI Photo

Chhetri began playing for the senior Indian football team on June 12, 2005. In his very first match, the would-be legend proved his mettle, netting a goal against Pakistan.

3rd-highest goalscorer among active international footballers

Credit: PTI Photo

Credit: PTI Photo

Chhetri has scored 94 goals for the country, which makes him the third-highest goalscorer among all active players in the world after Cristiano Ronaldo (128) and Lionel Messi (106). Chhetri is also the highest goalscorer among all Indian senior team players in history.

Khel Ratna Award

President Ramnath Kovind confers Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2021 on Sunil Chhetri in recognition of his outstanding achievements in Football, in New Delhi.

President Ramnath Kovind confers Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2021 on Sunil Chhetri in recognition of his outstanding achievements in Football, in New Delhi.

Credit: PTI Photo

While a number of Indian football legends have received several awards from the government, the highest sporting honour in the country, had eluded them until Chhetri was awarded with the same in 2021.

Seven-time AIFF Player of the Year

Sunil Chhetri.

Sunil Chhetri.

Credit: PTI Photo

Chhetri was crowed the AIFF Player of the Year for a record seven times. He is followed by I M Vijayan, who comes second with three wins, followed by Jo Paul Ancheri and Bhaichung Bhutia (2 each).

Domestic records

Sunil Chhetri celebrates a goal during the first leg semifinal of the Hero Indian Super League 2022 played between Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC, at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Sunil Chhetri celebrates a goal during the first leg semifinal of the Hero Indian Super League 2022 played between Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC, at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Credit: PTI Photo

The prolific goalscorer has a number of records in domestic football to his name as well. He is the first Indian to score a hat-trick in the Indian Super League (ISL). He is the all-time second highest goalscorer in the ISL and the top Indian goal-scorer in I-League till date. Chhetri is Bengaluru FC's highest-ever goalscorer and also holds the record for most goals by an Indian in top-tier football leagues in the country.

With PTI inputs

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 16 May 2024, 11:31 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT