Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri Is On Everyone’s Lips | best football team india | best player in 2024

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri is the Indian national football team’s go-to striker, so his success as the lead striker comes with great responsibility – staying fit while restricting his diet must come first and foremost.

Global leagues have opened the floodgates of aspiration for young players who aspire to emulate superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Sunil Chhetri | 1. He is the captain

Sunil Chhetri made his national team captain debut in 2005 when Indian football was still predominantly seen as an amateur spectator sport, followed only by dedicated followers in isolated pockets of the country and rarely discussed by mainstream media outlets. But Chhetri changed all that. He established an identity for Indian football that transcended mere spectatorship to mainstream discussion and made Indian football accessible for mainstream viewers across India.

With every match that he played and goal he scored, Chhetri gave hope to Indian football fans. No matter whether they attended a stadium match live or watched it later on television/mobile devices, fans always held onto the hope that Chhetri would come through and become their hero.

Chhetri had more than fulfilled those expectations during his first decade with India’s national team, becoming one of the country’s most beloved sporting figures and becoming the highest international goalscorer in Indian history, along with being mentioned alongside Ronaldo and Messi as one of its greats.

That legacy Chhetri has built is impressive and, more importantly, speaks volumes of his hardworking ethic. This ethic has ensured his longevity in international football as well as success at club level, not to mention an incredible social media following (3.8 Million followers on Instagram alone compared with less than half that for India National Team’s official page!). It also helps explain his success at gathering supporters online – this reason alone accounts for his vast following on social media (3.8 Million Followers On Instagram!).Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri | 2. He is the leader

Midway through the 2010s, Indian football fans always had hope. Even during its worst periods, Sunil Chhetri would often make headlines for something special or else keep going back for more games – which kept fans coming to stadiums, watching television broadcasts or mobile phone coverage of matches and remaining hopeful that his goal scoring spree might surprise everyone else. And often did.

He holds the record as India’s most successful captain and one of international football’s prolific goal scorers with 94 goals scored from 150 matches; fourth highest behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Ali Daei among active players.

Chhetri’s goals are stunningly beautiful – like something out of a movie. Here is an example from Kyrgyzstan during a 2014 AFC Asian Cup qualifying match: Jeje played him an intelligent long pass to take control of a slippery ball that stuck and slipped around the pitch, which saw Chhetri take one touch before lifting it high over goalkeeper Ismet Uyan and into the net!

At its heart, Chhetri’s goal encapsulated everything about him – his skill, judgment and audacious self-belief. No wonder so many are drawn to watch him play; such goals serve as an important reminder that even as other Indian footballers found it tough playing overseas (Mohammed Salim was courted by Celtic before opting out; Bhaichung Bhutia played briefly before retiring), Chhetri remained and ultimately became one of its faceoffs within India.Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri | 3. He is the star

Sunil Chhetri is an iconic figure in Indian football and one of the top three scorers of all-time behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. At 38-years-old, his longevity in international football has propelled him into third position – outscoring both of them!Sunil Chhetri

Chhetri holds an astonishing 93 international goals – more than the next two most-capped Indian players combined (Bhaichung Bhutia and I.M Vijayan). Additionally, with 7.8 million Instagram followers he easily outpaces both Sahal Abdul Samad and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu for most-followed footballer status in India.Sunil Chhetri

As Chhetri made his debut in 2003, he was an unknown to most Indian sports fans; Bhutia or Vijayan may have come to mind; yet cricket had yet to capture pan-Indian imagination as quickly.

Chhetri’s debut was relatively quiet, yet his coaches quickly noticed his hunger to prove himself and show the kind of resilience which would carry him through some arduous periods later in his career.

He chested down a punt, opened up space with a hip swivel and unleashed a low skimming strike that gave Tajik goalkeeper no chance. That moment cemented his status as an iconic national hero; someone whose legacy extends far beyond playing soccer but instead stands as an inspiration for all Indians.

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri | 4. He is the icon

Chhetri represents all that is great about Indian football. He has earned the respect of both his peers and fans alike; as well as being seen as a true hero who never gives up reaching for greater heights, and an irreplaceable figure.

On a wet Mumbai pitch during his debut appearance at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games under Mohun Bagan boss Subrata Bhattacharya, Chhetri took off with Jeje Lalpekhlua’s ball and raced into Kyrgyzstan’s half. Dodging past sliding challenges before passing two players before scoring with an audacious volley; only his seventh international goal but nonetheless an iconic moment for a nation that had yet to win any major tournament with Fifa ranking still being at 100!

Goals like those by Chhetri catapulted him to fame and Indian football to its first ever AFC Asian Cup championship victory, ushering in an era of big-name global leagues which now define Indian football. Chhetri has come to symbolize this period when India, as a footballing nation, was rising. Unfortunately though, carrying such expectations might burn one out at some point but Chhetri likely will keep fighting as long as possible for himself and Indian football as a whole.

Leave a Reply