Sunil Chhetri bids Adieu to International Football

Sunil Chhetri bids Adieu to International Football

Sunil Chhetri, the legendary Indian soccer player, has decided to retire from international football. He will play his last match for India against Kuwait on June 6 during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Chhetri announced this on Thursday through a video on his social media accounts.

Chhetri, who debuted in 2005, has scored 94 goals for India, making him the country’s all-time top scorer and most-capped player. Among active players, only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have scored more goals than Chhetri. He is also fourth on the all-time list of international goal scorers.

At 39 years old, Chhetri has had a nearly two-decade-long career, during which he has been a vital player for India. He has played many significant matches in Kolkata, where his final game will also be held, at the Salt Lake Stadium.

India is currently second in Group A with four points, behind Qatar.

Chhetri made his 150th national appearance in March and scored against Afghanistan in Guwahati, although India lost the game 1-2. Reflecting on his career, Chhetri remembered his debut against Pakistan in 2005 fondly, where he scored his first international goal.

Chhetri shared emotional memories of his career, expressing the unique mix of duty, pressure, and joy he felt playing for India. His family had mixed reactions to his retirement decision, with his mom and wife bursting into tears.

Throughout his career, Chhetri has led India to several victories, including the Nehru Cup (2007, 2009, 2012) and the SAFF Championship (2011, 2015, 2021). He also played a crucial role in India’s 2008 AFC Challenge Cup win, which qualified them for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup for the first time in 27 years.

Chhetri has also had an impressive club career, playing for teams like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and Bengaluru FC. He even had stints with Kansas City Wizards in the USA and Sporting CP’s reserve team in Portugal.

As Chhetri prepares for his final match, he reflects on the countless memories and achievements throughout his career, one that will inspire future generations of Indian footballers.