Sunil Chhetri, the Indian professional footballer is a striker and captain of both, the Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC and the Indian national team. He is going to be 35-year-old tomorrow. Chhetri’s contribution in Indian football is unmatchable.
Captain Fantastic is the name, by which he is popular. He have a record of scoring the 2nd highest number of goals in international matches among active players after Cristiano Ronaldo. He is both the most-capped player and all-time top goalscorer for the Indian national team, with 71 goals in 111 appearances. He is currently doing the captaincy of the national team. On his 34th birthday, on 3rd August 2018, Sunil Chhetri was named an ‘Asian Icon’ by AFC.
Talking about his career, Chhetri started his professional career in 2002 at Mohun Bagan. Then he moved to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games. He became the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad after signing for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer in 2010. Though, that stint in the United States did not last long and soon he was back in India’s I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad. This time he was signed by Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Primeira Liga where he played for the club’s reserve side.
Chhetri helped India in winning the 2007 Nehru Cup, 2009 Nehru Cup, the 2012 Nehru Cup as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship. Chhetri, during the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, was also one of India’s best players, India won the tournament and thus qualified for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years. Then, he led India in scoring during their short-lived campaign at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup with two goals. Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year six times in a queue – 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018–19.