Sunil Chhetri: Journey to become India’s football legend

He has time and again brought glory to India in the sport that faces a dearth of players in the country.

New Delhi: Sunil Chettri, presently the captain of the Indian national football team, also plays for the Bengaluru Football Club.

Today, he, who is one of the persons who triggered the craze for Football in the country, turns 34. He has time and again brought glory to India in the sport that faces a dearth of players who can match up to the International standards of the game.

Let’s have a look his journey to become India’s favourite football star:

  • Since Sunil Chhetri’s father worked in the Army he had to keep moving places. He had to shift from Gangtok to Darjeeling to Kolkata and then to Delhi; he prefers to call Delhi his hometown.
  • Sunil had to give up schooling in class XII as he went on to represent Asian School Championship for India in 2001.
  • Chhetri’s entire family has played footballs; his father played football for army whereas his mother and twin sisters played for Women’s national team of Nepal.
  • His first major move was when he began his professional football career with Mohun Bagan in 2002.
  • In 2004, he made his debut for senior Indian national team in South Asian Game.
  • He scored first goal for India against Pakistan in 2005.
  • Chhetri became only the third Indian footballer to play for a foreign club after Mohammad Salem and Baichung Bhutia when he was selected for Kansas City Wizards in 2010.
  • He helped the Indian team clinch the Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2012 as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship.
  • In 2013, he helped India climb 24 spots in FIFA rankings from 167 to 143.
  • Chhetri was signed in 2015 by Indian football club Mumbai City FC from Bengaluru FC for the Indian Super League.
  • Sunil is the first Indian footballer to score 50 international goals. During the 2018 World Cup Qualifying match, Chhetri scored his 50th goal against Guam.
  • He is also the second Indian player after Inder Singh to score goals in more than one game at the Asian Cup.
  • Sunil Chhetri currently plays for Bengaluru FC which currently ranks at 5th position in the I-League. He became the top scorer for India with 53 goals and is in the race with Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney as the Top Active International Goal scorers.
  • Chhetri is currently eyeing the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and is working hard with the team to qualify for the tournament.

Awards received by Sunil Chhetri

Sunil has been successful in his football career by achieving lots of awards, trophies for his club, nation and himself. In 2009 he was awarded as the Best Player and Best Striker by Football Players’ Association of India.

He helped India win titles by scoring 3 goals in Nehru Cup. He was 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014 AIFF Player of the Year, this gave him the captainship of India National Football Team.

Sunil has estimated net worth of above a million $. He earns such high with playing actively in different matches and also earns almost $11000 per match.

The footballer aptly defines himself in his Twitter bio – ‘My life revolves around shuttling between taking the field for India and Bengaluru FC. Couldn’t have had it better.’

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