Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

Sunil Chhetri indian footballer | India Send Sunil Chhetri Into Retirement With a Dull Draw | best football team in 2024

Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

Chhetri has created his own universe in a country without major soccer success; yet a goalless draw against Kuwait in his final match at Salt Lake Stadium will hardly provide him with an ideal send off.

Thousands gathered to witness 39-year-old Michael Owen retire with style after scoring 94 goals over his international career.

Sunil Chhetri indian footballer| Goalless draw

Sunil Chhetri made his final India appearance at Thursday, June 6’s 0-0 draw against Kuwait – receiving a standing ovation at Salt Lake stadium as his teammates formed a guard of honour – when India tied 0-0 against Kuwait on Thursday evening, June 6.

A tearful and emotional Chhetri ended his illustrious career scoring 94 goals over 15 years for Mohun Bagan Kolkata-based club and Bengaluru FC forward he had an emotional farewell on home soil at Salt Lake Stadium before departing for good after 20 years representing his national side and his teammates formed a guard of honour formation of his teammates to show their respects as his teammates formed an honour guard of honour formation around him during that match at Salt Lake Stadium on that Thursday evening matchday against Kuwait on Thursday morning. Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

India now sits second in Group A behind Kuwait and Afghanistan with five points from four games, needing a win against Qatar to advance to the third and final phase of World Cup qualifiers.

Chhetri, 39, announced his international retirement with an emotional video posted to X on Wednesday morning. Citing fatigue, injury and wanting more time with family as primary motivations for his decision, the nearly 10-minute clip recounted high and low points from his career while discussing making this difficult decision – while noting how his “kid inside him will likely keep fighting to play football but the wise and mature player and person knows this is it”. His speech touched millions of fans worldwide who shared their admiration on social media platforms like Facebook. Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

 Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

Sunil Chhetri indian footballer | India failed to find the back of the net

After the match had already been decided, Igor Stimac made several adjustments to India’s starting eleven and rested Sunil Chhetri. Unfortunately, these changes didn’t make a noticeable difference and India continued being disjointed in attack; never looking like they could score against Lebanon.

Anirudh Thapa created the initial opportunity in the fourth minute but miscued his shot, missing its target by inches. Later, Ashique Kuruniyan missed an almost certain goal after receiving an exquisite pass from Lallianzuala Chhangte only to shoot straight into Lebanon’s goalkeeper instead of into an open goal.

Just 20 minutes later, Sherzod Nasrullaev put the visitors ahead by capitalising on India’s static defence to head home Otabek Shukurov’s cross. Stimac’s changes failed miserably too as Liston Colaco and Brandon Fernandes failed to shine during the second half.

There were sporadic glimpses of quality during this match; with Jeakson Singh nutmegging his way past Kuwait’s defensive line before being brought down for a free-kick and debutant Jay Gupta showing some skill on the right wing, but failing to find his final product. Unfortunately, these glimpses quickly vanished under an ocean of mediocrity present throughout.

Sunil Chhetri indian footballer | Stimac’s side lacked a spark

On his final international outing, Chhetri inspired emotions but India were toothless at goal, leading Qatar to take all three points against Kuwait and enter the third round of World Cup qualifiers on Thursday (June 6). Sunil Chhetri footballer

Igor Stimac was quick to criticize his players after they suffered a dismal 0-0 draw against Kolkata at home on Tuesday. An underwhelming performance revealed an absence of quality passing and failure to create chances in the final third for his side.

The Croatian coach decided to make several tweaks from his initial lineup during training camp, yet these made little impactful difference on matchday. Notably, Jeakson Singh who typically occupies space centrally was left out of starting eleven and this made a clear difference.

Sandesh Jhingan and Akash Mishra were absent due to injury; their presence would’ve provided India with more daring forward passes as well as defensive cover. Lallianzuala Chhangte’s absence, who is known for his dribbling skills and openings finding, was equally noticeable; Ashique Kuruniyan could not keep pace with Sunil as they attempted linking up together; also missing several easy chances.

 Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

Sunil Chhetri indian footballer | Chhetri’s farewell

As time passed in Salt Lake Stadium, Sunil Chhetri’s farewell to his national team neared completion. When the referee’s final whistle blew, Chhetri walked through their guard of honour with head in hands, tears barely held back. Sunil Chhetri footballer

Chhetri, 39, has worn India’s jersey in 19 years and 151 matches, scoring 94 goals as its all-time leading scorer with an astounding total. Additionally, he ranks third globally among active international goalscorers behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

He has been an integral figure in the growth of Indian football, leading to it becoming more accessible to its 1.4 billion citizens. But the journey hasn’t always been smooth as football struggled to find its place within an environment long dominated by cricket. Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

Chhetri left an emotional 9-minute post on X, his personal platform, to thank fans for their unfailing support throughout his career and express his thanks in Bengali: ‘Shobai bhalo thakben, shobai khushi thakben’ which perfectly summarised one of Indian football’s iconic figures. Sunil Chhetri indian footballer

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