Glory, guts & goals

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri has been the savior for his country for more than a decade now. He scored his fourth goal in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers which levels the Indian legend to Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas in the international goal tally of 84 goals. This leaves Chhetri behind two iconic names in the world of football, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the all-time active top scorers list.In the list of most goals scored in international football, Sunil Chhetri has joined Ferenc Puskas on the fifth spot with 84 goals for India. Moreover, Chhetri is third in the active goal-scorers list behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (117) and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (86).

Sunil Chhetri said, ‘Feels Good, but you have to carry on. I genuinely don’t care about records. I just want to enjoy myself as I move on to the last moments – just go out and enjoy on the pitch. Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002, moving to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games. Sunil was part of Delhi team in the 59th edition of Santosh trophy held at Delhi. He scored 6 goals in that tournament including a hat-trick against Gujarat. Delhi lost to Kerala in the quarter finals and he scored in that match too.

Chhetri signed for Major League Soccer side the Kansas City Wizards in 2010, becoming the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad. He returned to India’s I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad, at Sporting CP of the Primeira Liga, where he played for the club’s reserve side. Chhetri helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup, as well as the 2011, 2015, and 2021 SAFF Championship. He has also helped India win the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which qualified them to their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years, scoring twice in the final tournament in 2011. Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year a record six times