Countless onlookers would still get goosebumps when they hear the name Sunil Chhetri. A name synonymous with guile, deft control over the ball and clinical finish. There is an aura to his movement when the Indian captain touches the ball.
Sunil Chhetri once again stole the spotlight as he chipped in with 2 goals against Thailand as India produced a blistering performance in the AFC Asian Cup tourney opener. It was India’s first victory in the Asian Cup in 55 years.
In the goal-scoring process, Sunil Chhetri surpassed Lionel Messi and went on to become the second highest international goalscorer, the first being Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo who has 85 goals to his name.
Chhetri who has netted 67 goals in 105 matches, surpassed Lionel Messi who has 65 international goals to his name. Sunil Chhetri was named as the 2017 All India Football Federation (RIFF) Player of the Year by the national body. Inspirational skipper Chhetri recently became the 2nd Indian footballer to play 100 international games after Bhaichunq Bhutia. Chhetri is a consistent striker for both India and Bengaluru FC.
Sunil Chhetri chipped 20 goals for the Blues of Bengaluru in 26 caps across the Indian Super League (ISL), Super Cup and AFC Cup in the 2017-18 season. He also continued his goalscoring form when he scored 7 goals in 16 matches for the Blues in the I-League 2017 before they climbed ladders to the cash-rich ISL.
The star striker has earlier won the AIFF Player of the Year on 4 occasions before 2018. He won it in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. He played a spectacular role in the Intercontinental Cup where he scored 8 goals in 4 appearances including a stellar hat-trick against Taiwanese Side. We also witnessed India lifting the Cup with tons of pride.
With the kind of support that the Indian football team received from the fans recently, it is very much certain that the Indian football revolution has just begun. The support was not just in the stadium but was also seen off the field as well. In what was a classy gesture by the fans in India, they showed support to the Indian football team with a tribute poster. It is very nice to see this change when it comes to football in this country.