Football

Sunil Chhetri's Career Highlights: Five Unforgettable Moments Ahead Of His Retirement

A Legacy of Excellence- Let's discover more about Sunil Chhetri's remarkable achievements and contributions to Indian football

Sunil Chhetri On Retirement: 'It's Going To End Soon'
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Indian football's iconic figure, Sunil Chhetri, has officially retired from international football on Thursday, May 16, marking the end of a remarkable journey that began in 2005. (More Football News)

Sunil Chhetri's final match representing India is set to take place on June 6 against Kuwait during the 2026 fifa-world-cup-qualifiers">FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Kolkata. At 39, Chhetri, celebrated as one of India's finest footballers, holds the record for the highest number of appearances and goals scored for the nation.

The forward has featured in 145 games for India, scoring a staggering 93 goals. He is also the Blue Tigers’ leading goal scorer as well as the most capped player in history.

Chhetri's goal-scoring prowess is not just about the numbers but the consistency and impact he has had on Indian football. His most notable performances have come against teams like Maldives, against whom he has scored 8 goals in 6 appearances.

Here are the top five highlights from his remarkable career:

First Indian Footballer To Score More Than 90 International Goals

In 2021, during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers match against Nepal, Sunil Chhetri became the first Indian footballer to score more than 90 international goals.

National Awards Under His Belt- Padma Shri, Arjuna Award And Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna

Sunil Chhetri's contributions to Indian football have been recognized with several prestigious awards. In 2011, he was honored with the Arjuna Award for Football. In 2019, Chhetri was conferred with the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award. Most recently, in 2021, he was awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award for Football, India's highest sporting honor, for his exceptional achievements and contributions to football.

Among The World's Top International Goal Scorers, With 94 Goals

Sunil Chhetri is among the top international goal in the world with 94 international goals,  sits behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Ali Daei and Lionel Messi with 128 and 108 international goals respectively.

Sunil Chhetri's Individual Honours

Sunil Chhetri's talent and contribution to Indian football have been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. He is seven-time AIFF Player of the Year winner among the other wins.

AIFF Player of the Year in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018-19.

FPAI Indian Player of the Year in 2009, 2018, and 2019.

SAFF Championship Player of the Tournament in 2011, 2015, and 2021.

SAFF Championship Top Scorer title in 2011, 2021, and 2023.

Hero of the Intercontinental Cup in 2018.

Captain Fantastic Got A Documentary By FIFA

Sunil Chhetri has scored an impressive 252 goals for club and country in 515 appearances, boasting an outstanding goal-scoring rate of nearly one goal in every two matches he plays.

FIFA recognized Sunil Chhetri's remarkable achievements on the field by releasing a documentary in 2022 titled ‘Captain Fantastic’. This documentary highlights the footballer’s exceptional goal-scoring feats and his journey to greatness.

Sunil Chhetri's contributions to Indian football are immeasurable. From rallying football fans to attend matches to delivering crucial goals for the team, he has played an instrumental role in elevating the status of Indian football. Chhetri's achievements on the international stage have not only made him a hero at home but have also earned him respect worldwide.

As he announces his retirement from international football, his legacy as a prolific goal-scorer and an inspiration to young footballers in India is firmly established. His journey from a promising young talent to becoming the captain of the national team and its leading goal-scorer is a testament to his hard work, and unmatched skill.

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