Sunil Chhetri is the all-time top goal scorer for Indian National Football Team. He plays as a striker for Indian club Bengaluru FC and is the current captain of the national team.
Early Career of Sunil Chhetri
He started out his career, playing for Mohun Bagan in 2002 and slowly moved to JCT club. He scored 21 goals in 48 games for JCT club. And soon was signed by the Kansas City Wizards of Major Soccer in 2010. He was the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad. Chhetri defeated the USA International Clint Dempsey and drew a margin of equity with David Villa as he scored the hat-trick against Chinese Taipei. And he bagged the third position in the list of the highest active international goal scorers in football before matching Leo Messi’s record in recent times.
Disciplined and goal-hungry, Sunil Chhetri played his 100th international match where India swept aside Kenya in the ‘Intercontinental Cup’ and after the tournament win, he was compared to Benjamin Button – a character played by Hollywood actor Brad Pitt in the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, aged in reverse.
“It’s a myth… when they say you can do certain things only when you are younger…” Chhetri declared.
Sunil Chettri Achievements
He helped India win 2007, 2009, 2012 Nehru Cup and 2011 SAFF Championship. He was also considered as one of the best players during the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup in which India got the victory and qualified for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years. Chhetri has also been named ‘AIFF Player of the Year’ 4 times in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. He is the “ultimate game changer” for Indian football team. And for the past few years, Chhetri has been bejeweled as a wide forward. A position which puts as much of a premium on work-rate as it does on goals scored.
Still, the 2017-18 was his most proliferate season ever. He scored 20 goals for his club Bengaluru FC and making it to the Indian Super League final. In his last 10 internationals for India, he has found the net an astonishing 13 times. He also helped India to qualify for 2019 Asian Cup. The success this discipline has brought him is clearly evident.
Such an outlook – the expression of which often appears with philosophical connotations – coupled with hard work has been Chhetri’s USPs all throughout his career life. Things never came easily to him. Yet, here he is seemingly upgraded by the very experiences which would have broken most, obsessed by immeasurable youthful zest.
It’s a persona that’s contagious and it wouldn’t be tensile to say that the qualities which embody it have oozed down to every member of the squad. As the “Captain Fantastic “of his club and the country both, motivating and stimulating a generation may ultimately be his defining legacy.