Happy Birthday Sunil Chhetri: Indian football team captain and veteran footballer Sunil Chhetri Today he is celebrating his 39th birthday. This star of Indian football was born on this day in the year 1984 in Secunderabad in a military family. He is the highest goalscorer for India. Sunil Chhetri started his international career against Pakistan in the year 2005. In an international career of almost 18 years, he has made a record of goals and in this case Lionel Messi is also behind him. There are some big records in the name of the Indian star player today, which includes him in the list of legendary players like Ronaldo and Messi.
However, the Indian captain has also faced many difficulties in his career. There was a time when the coach even told him that you are not fit to be in the team, but he did not give up and continued his game. So, on the occasion of Chhetri’s birthday today, we know about that interesting story related to him and his records.
Chhetri did not want to become a footballer
Very few people know an interesting thing about Sunil Chhetri that he never wanted to become a professional footballer. Chhetri himself has admitted that he used to play football as an amateur so that he could get admission in a good college through sports quota. Sunil’s father was in the army and he got a chance to live in different parts of the country. He started playing football as an amateur but his initial coach inspired him to become a footballer.
The coach said you are not fit for the team
When Sunil Chhetri joined Portugal’s club Sporting Lisbon in the year 2012, he was insulted by the head coach of that team. Sunil Chhetri told in an interview that the coach had asked him to send him from A team to B team while questioning his ability. Sunil Chhetri was associated with the club for 9 months in which he got a chance to play only 5 matches. Chhetri was also associated with the Kansas City Wizards of America in 2010, although he returned to India within a year.
parents were also footballers
Very few people know that Sunil Chhetri’s father has also been a footballer and his mother has also played football for Nepal. His father KB Chhetri played in the Indian Army team while his mother Sushila Chhetri along with her twin sister played in the national team of Nepal. Chhetri married Sonam Bhattacharya. Sonam is the daughter of his coach, she had liked Chhetri since she was just 15 and Chhetri was 18 and still finding his footing in football.
India’s flag hoisted in the world
Sunil Chhetri has an important contribution in taking Indian football to a new level. Recently, under his captaincy, the Indian team has won the SAFF Championship title. India defeated Kuwait in the penalty shoot-out in the final of the SAFF Championship in Bengaluru. India captured the title of SAFF Championship for the 9th time. Chhetri has also been honored with many awards till now. This includes Padma Shri (2019), Arjuna Award (2011) and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (2021).
Some big records of Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri holds the record for playing the maximum number of matches in an international career for India. Chhetri has played 142 matches so far in his international career.
Apart from playing the most international matches, he is also the highest goalscorer for India. He has scored 92 goals in total matches of his international career.
Sunil Chhetri is at the fourth position in the overall list of players with the most goals in international career. While he is the third highest goal scorer as an active player.
In international goals per match, Sunil is ahead of Chhetri (0.65), Ronaldo (0.62) and Messi (0.59).
Sunil Chhetri has received the AIFF Player of the Year Awards for a record seven times. He received this award in the years 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018-19 and 2021-22.
Sunil Chhetri has played in three different continents – Asia, North America and Europe. He is also the only Indian player to do so.
Sunil Chhetron is also the player with the most hat-tricks for India. He has scored three hat-tricks against Tajikistan, Vietnam and Chinese Taipei.
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