Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sunil Chhetri : A Homage to the Captain, Leader, Legend of Indian Football

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Sunil Chhetri is a true icon and a true revolutionist, who completely transformed the footballing scene of India. A true workaholic who’s only ambition is to improve the condition of football in India. What he has done for the country can never be matched through any form of thanksgiving. However, this is a small homage paid to him for whatever he has done for Indian football.

Sunil Chhetri was born on 3rd August, 1984 to K. B. Chhetri and Sushila Chhetri in SecunderabadTelanganaIndia. Chhetri’s parents were also footballers, so the family had a footballing history.

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri the captain of Indian Football team.

Sunil Chettri started playing football from a very tender age , playing in various local tournaments. What awaited for Sunil was an unbelievable journey towards Indian football. Sunil left his studies after passing 12th in order to pursue his dream of becoming a pro footballer.

He began his professional career from Mohun Bagan in 2002 when he was 25. He played 3 seasons for Mohun Bagan scoring a total of 8 goals. After that he played for a number of Indian clubs like East Bengal, Dempo, Churchill Brothers etc.

Sunil Chhetri also played for some foreign clubs like Kansas City Wizards and Sporting Club Portugal. But sadly his overseas career wasn’t as successful as his career in the subcontinent, and therefore, Sunil decided to thereafter play in India itself.

On 12th of June of 2005, Sunil made his international debut against arch rivals Pakistan. Till date, Sunil has 115 caps for India scoring a total of 72 goals, which make him the second active player with the most amount of international goals after Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sunil has also won a whole lot of Awards on a person level. He won the AIFF player of the year award, a record 6 times, AFC Asian Icon, Football Ratna Award (first recipient) by Delhi Football Association.

In 2011, Sunil won The Arjuna Award, by the Government of India in recognition of his outstanding achievement in sports and in 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award. It is India’s  4th highest civilian award .

Sunil Chhetri celebrates a goal for India

He also achieved a lot with the Indian national team , winning the SAFF Championship twice, The AFC Challenge Cup and 3 times The Nehru Cup. Even today , after achieving so much he is still hungry for more and is always working hard so that he can always give his best

Today, as when we look at Sunil Chhetri’s journey, we realize that the man had a really tough journey as success wasn’t by his side from the start. Sunil had a lot of ups and downs in his career but he fought against all the odds that he encountered in his journey with sheer determination and patience and eventually became a Legend of Indian Football.

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