Sunil Chhetri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri Indian Football Player.jpg
Chhetri training with Bengaluru in 2021
Personal information
Full name Sunil Chhetri
Date of birth (1984-08-03) 3 August 1984 (age 38)[1]
Place of birth Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh
(now in Telangana), India[1]
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Bengaluru
Number 11
Youth career
2001–2002 City Club Delhi[2]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2005 Mohun Bagan 18 (8)
2005–2008 JCT 48 (21)
2008–2009 East Bengal 17 (9)
2009–2010 Dempo 13 (8)
2010 Kansas City Wizards 1 (0)
2011 Chirag United 7 (7)
2011–2012 Mohun Bagan 14 (8)
2012–2013 Sporting CP B 3 (0)
2013Churchill Brothers (loan) 8 (4)
2013–2015 Bengaluru 43 (16)
2015–2016 Mumbai City 17 (7)
2016Bengaluru (loan) 14 (5)
2016– Bengaluru 119 (51)
National team
2004 India U20 3 (2)
2006–2007 India U23 2 (0)
2005– India 131 (84)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 17:44, 17 November 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 18:51, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

Sunil Chhetri (born 3 August 1984) is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both the Indian Super League club Bengaluru and the India national team. Widely regarded as the greatest Indian football player presently and the best Indian striker of all time, Chhetri is known for his link-up play, goal scoring abilities and leadership.[3][4] Sunil Chhetri is also the third-highest international goalscorer among active players, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi,[5][6] the joint fifth-highest of all time, and he is also the most-capped player and the all-time top goalscorer of Indian football team.[7][8][9]

Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002,[10][11] moving to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games.[12] Sunil was part of Delhi team in the 59th edition of Santosh trophy held at Delhi. He scored 6 goals in that tournament including a hat-trick against Gujarat. Delhi lost to Kerala in the quarter finals and he scored in that match too.[13] He signed for Major League Soccer side Kansas City Wizards in 2010, becoming the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad.[14] He returned to India's I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad, at Sporting CP of the Primeira Liga, where he played for the club's reserve side.[15]

Chhetri helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup, as well as the 2011, 2015, and 2021 SAFF Championship. He has also helped India win the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which qualified them to their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years,[16] scoring twice in the final tournament in 2011.[17] Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year a record seven times in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018–19 and 2021-22.[18][19]

Chhetri received the Arjuna Award in 2011 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Padma Shri award in 2019, India's fourth highest civilian award. In 2021, he received the Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honor and became the first footballer to receive the award.[20]

In September 2022, FIFA honored Chhetri for his achievements by releasing a three-episode series on his life and career.[21]

Club career[edit]

Mohun Bagan[edit]

Chhetri began his professional football journey with Mohun Bagan of the National Football League after playing with City Football Club of New Delhi.[12] After his first season with the club, the 2002–03 season, Chhetri had scored four goals[22] as Mohun Bagan finished in seventh place in the table.[23] The next season, Chhetri scored only two goals. The first came against Sporting Goa while the second came against Indian Bank as Mohun Bagan once again finished in the bottom half of the table, in ninth place.[24] Chhetri then once again scored only two goals during the 2004–05 season; this time Mohun Bagan finished eighth in the league and remained in the National Football League on goal difference.[25]

JCT[edit]

In 2005, Chhetri signed for JCT for the 2005–06 season.[12] During that season, Chhetri scored three goals. He scored twice against Salgaocar before the third came against Sporting Goa, as JCT finished the season that year in sixth place.[26] Meanwhile, in the Santosh Trophy, Chhetri scored two hat-tricks for Delhi in the group stages of the 61st Santosh Trophy against both Orissa and Railways.[27] However, despite Chhetri's best efforts, Delhi were eliminated in the pre-quarter final round after losing 1–0 to Tamil Nadu in extra time.[27]

Then, during the 2006–07 season, Chhetri scored a total of twelve goals in the league for JCT as the club finished in second place, behind Dempo.[28] Among his best games during that season were the matches against his former club Mohun Bagan and Dempo in which he scored braces in both matches as JCT won both games 2–0 and 3–2 respectively.[29][30]

Then, during the very first season of the I-League, Chhetri scored seven goals as JCT finished the season in third place.[31] His only brace that season came against Salgaocar during the final match of the season.[32] Midway through that season though, in December 2007, Chhetri was awarded the AIFF Player of the Year award for 2007 for his excellent form and performances for his club and country.[18]

Interest abroad[edit]

"Of course, I would love to play in Europe like [David] Villa and it all depends where I get an offer from. England would certainly be fine and I have had talks but the stumbling blocks are the work permit restrictions."

Sunil Chhetri, stating his desire to move abroad to play alongside Spanish striker David Villa.[33]

In October 2008, it was rumored that Chhetri had sparked interest from foreign clubs. These clubs were Leeds United of the Football League One and Estoril Praia of the Liga de Honra, the second division of Portugal.[34] During an interview Chhetri said that "Nothing has been confirmed as yet but yes, I think I am close to getting there." indicating that there was a chance of him signing in England.[35] However, in the end, a move never materialized.

East Bengal[edit]

Before the 2008–09 season began, Chhetri signed with fellow I-League side East Bengal.[12] He scored on his debut for East Bengal against Chirag United on 26 September 2008 in which he scored in the 28th minute as East Bengal won the match 3–1.[36][37]

Chhetri then went on to score a crucial goal for East Bengal during the Federation Cup in which he scored the only goal against his former club, JCT, which led to East Bengal booking a place in the semi-finals.[38] During the semi-final match, East Bengal took on arch-rivals and another of Sunil's former clubs, Mohun Bagan, in which he missed the decisive penalty in the penalty shootout as East Bengal were officially knocked-out of the tournament.[39]

Midway through the season though, reports came out suggesting that two Major League Soccer teams were interesting in Chhetri, along with his international teammate Steven Dias.[40] These two MLS sides were rumored to be the Los Angeles Galaxy and D.C. United. However, on 25 January 2009, Chhetri arrived in Coventry, England to begin a trial at Coventry City of the Football League Championship, thus rejecting MLS.[41] Four days later though, Coventry City manager Chris Coleman said that they would not be following their interest in Chhetri.[42] Four months later though, Chhetri said that he would go back to Coventry City in June 2009 for another extended trial.[43] That never materialized however.

Dempo[edit]

Upon being released by East Bengal, Chhetri signed a two-year contract with another fellow I-League side, Dempo on 22 May 2009.[44] In his contract was a clause which allowed him to leave for trials abroad in the future if he wanted to.[44]

More foreign interest[edit]

On 7 August 2009 it was reported that Scottish Premier League side Celtic were linked with a move to sign Chhetri.[45] The Scottish club had watched Chhetri during a pre-season friendly with Santboià, a Segunda División B side, in a pre-season fixture.[45] Yogesh Joshee, Chhetri's agent, was quoted as saying, "I'm waiting to get feedback from Celtic, who saw him on Monday by head scout and then another scout came to watch game, I'll let you know the outcome when I know."[45]

Then on 30 August 2009 it was announced by the Hindustan Times that Chhetri had signed a three-year contract with English Football League Championship side Queens Park Rangers but that he was denied a work permit by the British government.[46] According to an article on the Football Players' Association of India's official website, Chhetri was denied a work permit because India were not in the top 70 of the FIFA World Rankings. Chhetri, however, remained positive: "But it's not the end of the world. I will still continue to work hard for my country and my club Dempo, who have been very supportive."[46]

Kansas City[edit]

In March 2010 it was announced that Chhetri was on trial with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer and that he had played during their pre-season games.[47] He then formally signed for the team on 24 March 2010, becoming just the third Indian to play outside of South Asia and the first Indian to play in MLS.[14] Peter Vermes, the head coach of the Wizards, was quoted as saying "One thing we really like about Sunil is that he's a crafty player. Technically he's very sharp, and he's a guy that has good attacking tendencies."[14]

On 14 April 2010 Chhetri made his debut for the Wizards in the U.S. Open Cup qualification play-in game against the Colorado Rapids in which he started but ended up with a yellow card and was substituted out of the game at half-time as Kansas City lost the match 1–2.[48] Then, on 23 July 2010, it was announced that Chhetri would play in a mid-season friendly against Manchester United.[49] However this caused controversy as he had not yet played a league match.[50] On 25 July 2010, Chhetri made an appearance for the Wizards against Manchester United, coming on as a substitute for Teal Bunbury in the 69th minute as Kansas City won the match 2–1.[51]

However, the next day, it was announced that Chhetri was to compete for the India national team until the end of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.[52] Then on 5 February 2011, it was announced that Chhetri had officially left the team.[53]

Chirag United[edit]

On 10 February 2011, it was announced that Chirag United had beaten United Sikkim to the signing of Sunil Chhetri for the rest of the 2010–11 I-League season.[54] On 3 April 2011, Chhetri scored his first goal for Chirag United against Dempo, however, Dempo won the match 4–2.[55] Chhetri then scored a brace on 29 April 2011 against ONGC to help salvage a 2–2 draw for Chirag.[56]

Mohun Bagan[edit]

On 22 July 2011, it was announced by I-League club Mohun Bagan that Chhetri has signed a one-year deal with the club.[57]

Sporting CP B[edit]

On 4 July 2012, it was reported that Chhetri had signed a two-year contract with Sporting CP and would play in their reserve team.[58] Then, he made his debut for the side in a Segunda Liga match against Freamunde in which he came on in the 85th minute as Sporting CP B won the match 2–0.[59]

Loan to Churchill Brothers[edit]

On 13 February 2013, it was announced that in order to get more playing time Chhetri would be loaned out to Churchill Brothers in the I-League for the remainder of the season.[60] He made his debut for Churchill Brothers on 26 February 2013 against Kitchee in the 2013 AFC Cup in which Chhetri started as Churchill Brothers lost 0–3.[61] He then scored his first goal for Churchill Brothers in their next match against Semen Padang on 12 March 2013 in which he started and scored in the 27th minute as Churchill Brothers drew the match 2–2.[62] After the season ended, Chhetri had scored four goals in eight matches as he helped Churchill Brothers to their second ever I-League title.[63]

Bengaluru[edit]

2013–14[edit]

On 19 July 2013, following his release from Sporting CP, Chhetri signed with new direct-entry I-League side Bengaluru for the 2013–14 season.[64] He made his debut for the club in their opening game on 22 September 2013 against Mohun Bagan in which he came on as a 46th-minute substitute for Beikhokhei Beingaichho as Bengaluru managed a 1–1 draw.[65] Chhetri then scored his first goal for the side in the next game against Rangdajied United in which he found the net in the 67th minute as Bengaluru won 3–0.[66]

He did not score again for Bengaluru till November when, on the 2nd against Mumbai, Chhetri scored from the penalty-spot in the 57th minute to help Bengaluru FC to a 2–2 draw.[67] He then scored his first brace of the season against on 1 December 2013 against Shillong Lajong in which his 7th and 34th-minute strikes helped the team to a 2–1 victory.[68] Then in the next match against former club Churchill Brothers Chhetri scored another brace as he led Bengaluru FC to a 3–1 victory.[69] He then scored his third brace in a row in the very next match against Mohammedan as he led Bengaluru FC to a 3–2 win in Kolkata.[70]

Chhetri then finished off an impressive first half of the season for Bengaluru with a goal from the penalty spot against Salgaocar, his ninth of the season, as he led the Bangalore side to a 2–1 victory.[71] He then scored another goal in the teams very first Federation Cup match against Sporting Goa as Bengaluru FC won 5–3 on 15 January 2014.[72] With 14 goals and 7 assist in 23 appearances in the season, Chhetri led Bengaluru FC to their first ever I-League title in its debut season.

2014–15[edit]

Chhetri began the season in the 2014 Durand Cup, playing and scoring three times but missed the penalty in the shoot-out in the semi-final against Salgaocar which turned out to be the decisive penalty miss as Bengaluru crashed out.

Chhetri scored a brace in his side's first match of 2014–15 Federation Cup against Salgaocar in a match which eventually ended 3–2 in his side's favor. Chhetri scored another brace in the last group stage match of the cup against Pune, scoring one from open play and one from the penalty spot and thus leading his side to the semi final. He kept up his form in the semi final against Sporting Goa and assisted Sean Rooney for the first goal and scored the second goal in a match which ended 3–0 in his side's favor. Chhetri scored his 6th goal of the tournament in the final, thus helping them win the 2014–15 Federation Cup. Sunil scored his first goal of the 2014–15 season in the 7th round away to Mohun Bagan from a Eugeneson Lyngdoh cross but couldn't prevent his team from going down 4–1.[73] The CEO of Bengaluru FC, Parth Jindal confirmed that Chhetri along with Robin Singh and Thoi Singh will become contracted to the Indian Super League at the end of the season, to join the ISL team that drafts them in, but an arrangement has been agreed that they will be loaned back to Bengaluru for the next I-League season.[74]

Mumbai City[edit]

Chhetri was picked up by Mumbai City during the 2015 Indian Super League for ₹1.2 crores, making him the most expensive Indian player at the auctions.[75] He missed his team's first and second round matches in the 2015 Indian Super League season through national team commitments, playing against Turkmenistan and Oman in Group D of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but returned against Chennaiyin in a 2–0 loss.[76] He scored twice in his second game of the season against Roberto Carlos lead Delhi Dynamos in a 2–0 win, the first for his team in the season[77] before scoring again, from the penalty spot, in the very next game against then table toppers Goa managed by Zico.[78] Chhetri made history, becoming the first Indian player to score a hat-trick, in his fourth game of the season, against NorthEast United and taking his total of the season to 6 goals in 4 games.[79] he was the top scorer for Mumbai City for that season as he poached 7 Goals. fast forward to 2018 he was still the pole position of all-time top scorers for Mumbai City FC. he came back in Mumbai colors for 2015–16 season, the team done well this time as they reached playoffs for first time, but national commitments & less game time with the likes of Diego Forlán & Sony Norde kept him away from score sheet. After two seasons with the islanders, he signed a three-year contract which made him the highest-paid Indian player in 2017.

Return to Bengaluru[edit]

2015–16[edit]

Chhetri was loaned out to Bengaluru for the 2015–16 I-League season, where he ended up scoring 5 times in the league, thus helping his team win the league title for the second time in three years. He also scored twice in a round of 16 match against Kitchee in the 2016 AFC Cup, helping his side to an unlikely 2–3 win away from home. This would be the first time Bengaluru had reached the quarter finals of the tournament.[80]

2016–17[edit]

On 9 June 2016, Bengaluru announced that Chhetri had signed a one-year contract at the club, thus reverting his ownership rights to the club from Mumbai City.[81] Chhetri scored twice as Bengaluru won the 2016 AFC Cup semi-final tie by beating Johor Darul Ta'zim in Bengaluru. Chhetri's second goal was a 30-yard strike, where he received the ball from C. K. Vineeth, beat one defender and unleashed a screamer to give Bengaluru the lead.

2017–present[edit]

He scored 14 goals for the club during the 2017–18 Indian Super League season and became the top Indian scorer of the league. He was also the second top scorer for Bengaluru in the league and won the Hero of the League.[82] In 2018, Chhetri went on to win the Indian Super Cup with Bengaluru FC. With 9 goals, he was the topscorer for Bengaluru during their 2018–19 season in Indian Super League and helped to win the 2018–19 Indian Super League title. Chhetri was Bengaluru's topscorer during their 2019–20 campaign. During the 2020–21 season, he scored eight goals and thus became the topscorer for Bengaluru in three consecutive seasons. On 15 February 2021, Chhetri became the first player to make 200 appearances for Bengaluru FC.[83] He scored his 100th goal for Bengaluru FC in the final league match of the 2020–21 Indian Super League season against Jamshedpur on 25 February 2021.[84] On 20 June, it was announced that Chhetri had signed a two-year contract extension until 2023.[85] He won the 2022 edition of Durand Cup with the team.[86]

International career[edit]

On 30 March 2004, Chhetri played his first game for the India U-20 football team in the 1–0 victory over Pakistan U-23 team in the 2004 South Asian Games in Pakistan.[87] On 3 April 2004, Chhetri scored twice for the India U-20 team against Bhutan U-23 team in their 4–1 victory.[88] On 12 June 2005 Sunil scored his first goal for the senior India national football team against Pakistan.[89]

On 15 October 2019, Chhetri became the only Indian to secure a place in the list of top 10 goalscorers in international football.[90]

2007–2011[edit]

Chhetri (right) celebrating with teammates, after winning the 2007 Nehru Cup final against Syria

Chhetri's first international tournament was the 2007 Nehru Cup. In the opening game, India defeated Cambodia 6–0 with Chhetri scoring two goals.[91] He also scored a goal in the 2–3 defeat to Syria[92] and another in the 3–0 win over Kyrgyzstan[93] to take his goal tally to four. Chhetri was involved in the build-up to Pappachen Pradeep's decisive goal as India beat Syria 1–0 in the final to become the first champions of the tournament since 1997.[94] Later in 2007, India began their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. They were knocked out in the first round by Lebanon with Chhetri scoring once in the away leg (a 4–1 defeat)[95] and once in the home leg (a 2–2 draw)[96] resulting in a 6–3 aggregate defeat.[97]

Chhetri on his knees in a blue football shirt and blue football shorts. His arms are outstretched and he is smiling after just scoring a goal.
Chhetri celebrating after scoring in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup

The 2008 SAFF Championship started with three victories out of a possible three in the group stages. In the opening game, Chhetri scored a goal in a 4–0 victory over Nepal.[98] He scored once more in the championship—in the 2–1 semi-final victory over Bhutan; this was an equaliser before Gouramangi Singh scored India's second goal to send India through to the final.[99] India lost 1–0 to the Maldives in the final and Chhetri played for the full 90 minutes.[100] Later that year, in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, Chhetri played in all of the matches and scored four goals. In the 1–0 win over Afghanistan, he was involved in the build-up to Climax Lawrence's goal.[101] He also played for the full 90 minutes against Tajikistan (a 1–1 draw)[102] and Turkmenistan (a 2–1 win).[103] In the semi-final against Myanmar, Chhetri scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory after being assisted by Bhaichung Bhutia to see India through to the final.[104] In the final against Tajikistan, Chhetri scored a hat-trick which enabled India to win the Cup. This automatically qualified India for the 2011 Asian Cup, the first time they had qualified for the tournament in 24 years.[105] His first goal was originally disallowed for offside by Uzbek referee Valentin Kovalenko, who changed his mind after consulting his assistant.[106] Hundreds of fans waited outside the stadium to greet India's new "poster boy" and India manager Bob Houghton stated, "He is remarkable, brave and honest. He never gives up."[105]

Initially, Goal.com stated that Chhetri would miss the 2009 Nehru Cup through injury.[107] He played in the tournament, however, and he scored in the second match of the Nehru Cup, a penalty in a 2–1 win over Kyrgyzstan,[108] this being first time he had completed a full match since getting injured before the pre-season tour of Spain with his club.[109] He featured in the other three games in the round robin stage of the tournament, including the "dress rehearsal" for the final against Syria, but did not score.[110][111][112] Chhetri was one of India's scorers in the penalty shootout victory over Syria in the final after the match had ended in a 1–1 draw. He showed flashes of brilliance and scored the second goal in a 5–2 defeat at the hands of Bahrain in the 2011 Asian Cup. He also scored a goal against South Korea at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.[113]

He was named the national team Captain for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification which took place in Malaysia. On 16 November 2011 Chhetri scored in the 39th and 53rd minute for India against Malaysia in a friendly match played at the Salt Lake Stadium. The match ended 3–2 in favour of India.[114] On 11 December 2011 after scoring a goal in SAFF Cup's final he set a new record by scoring seven goals in a single edition of the SAFF Championship surpassing I. M. Vijayan's record of six goals in the 97 edition.[115]

2012–2016[edit]

Chhetri (no 11) lining up with teammates of the national team in 2012

On 22 August 2012, Chhetri scored a goal with a header in the added time of the first half against Syria in the first match of 2012 Nehru Cup where India won the match 2–1.[116] In the second match, which was on 25 August he scored two goals against Maldives, one goal coming from penalty where the team won 3–0.[117] In the final against fancied opponents Cameroon, Chhetri scored from a well-taken penalty kick to equalize the score at 2–2. In the ensuing penalty shootout which India won 5–4, Chhetri went as the second kick-taker from India and scored.[118]

2017–2021[edit]

Chhetri (centre) in a 2019 AFC Asian Cup group match against Thailand

On 11 October 2017, Chhetri scored and assisted in a 4–1 home win against Macau in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, with this win they qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after missing out in 2015.[119] Chhetri captained India to a 13 match unbeaten run before losing the final match to Kyrgyzstan. Nonetheless, not only did India qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup but also managed to top their group. He was among four renowned Asian players including Ali Daei, Sun Jihai and Phil Younghusband to be chosen for the seeds for the upcoming Asian cup.

Chhetri (left) at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup

In June 2018, Chhetri scored a hat-trick in a 5–0 win over Chinese Taipei in their first match of 2018 Intercontinental Cup.[120] However, after this match, Chhetri was disappointed with the poor turnout at the stadium and he uploaded a video on Twitter requesting people to come to Mumbai Football Arena to support the Indian team. His video went viral and garnered widespread support from fans, celebrities and legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. The stadium was packed with exuberant crowd for the rest of the matches. In the second match of the tournament, which was also Chhetri's 100th international appearance for India and also scored two goals including a goal from penalty spot in a 3–0 victory over Kenya.[121] Chhetri scored a goal in the next match against New Zealand, but the match ended 2–1 loss for India though India qualified for the final.[122] On 10 June, Chhetri scored twice again in a 2–0 win over Kenya in the final to win the Intercontinental Cup title and also equalled Argentina's Lionel Messi's tally of 64 international goals, making him the joint-second active international goalscorer at that time in front of Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.[123] He finished as the top scorer of the tournament with eight goals.[124] Chhetri's brace against Thailand on 6 January 2019 helped India to get a historic 4–1 win over them in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[125] On 7 June 2021, Chhetri scored twice in a 2–0 win over Bangladesh in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.[126] On 13 October 2021, he scored twice again in a 3–1 win over Maldives in the 2021 SAFF Championship, making him the joint-sixth all time international goalscorer at that time,[127] and the third highest active international goalscorer in football, behind only to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.[128] On 16 October 2021, he scored again in a 3–0 win over Nepal in the final of the 2021 SAFF Championship, equalling Messi's 80 international goals.[129]

2022–present[edit]

Due to some injuries after 2021–22 Indian Super League season, Sunil was not able to participate for International friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus which were held in March 2022. Then he made his appearance against Jordan in an international friendly fixture which was played as a part of preparing for 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers which was going to be held in June 2022.

Sunil Chhetri scoring freekick against Afghanistan

On June 8, 2022, Chhetri played against Cambodia in 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers where he scored a brace, from a penalty spot and a header from a cross from Brandon Fernandes, by which India won 2–0 in Salt Lake Stadium.[130] In the next match against Afghanistan, he scored from a freekick taking his international goals tally to 83. India won 2–1 in the match. Chhetri scored his 84th goal against Hong Kong in a 4–0 win in the next match.[131][132] India qualified for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup with Chettri becoming the top scorer in the third round of the qualifiers with 4 goals.[133] With 84 goals to his tally, Sunil is currently the third highest international goalscorer still actively playing, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and the joint-fifth highest overall with Ferenc Puskás.

Personal life[edit]

Sunil Chhetri was born on 3 August 1984 to K. B. Chhetri, a Nepali Gurkha officer(Colonel) in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers of the Indian Army, and Sushila Chhetri in Secunderabad, India.[134][1][135][136] His father played football for the Indian Army's team while his mother and her twin sisters played for the Nepal women's national team.[137] Chhetri started playing football from a young age taking part in various tournaments.[138]

Chhetri being felicitated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at the beginning of 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Delhi.

On 4 December 2017, Chhetri married his long time girlfriend Sonam Bhattacharya who is the daughter of former Indian international and Mohun Bagan player Subrata Bhattacharya.[139][140] Sunil Chhetri was named an 'Asian Icon' by AFC on his 34th birthday in 2018.[141] He signed a 3-year deal with global sports giant Puma starting from 2020.[142]

On 27 September 2022, FIFA launched a documentary on FIFA+, of three episodes named 'Captain Fantastic', which captures a lot of what is unseen and unheard about Chhetri, be it his pre-teen anguish, his debut for India at age of 20, his romance with his future wife and his early days and peak as a football player with many awards and records under his belt.[143][144]

Player profile[edit]

Style of play[edit]

Sunil, generally, plays as a left winger in his club football to help and supply his foreign centre forward. But for national team, he generally plays as a centre forward which helped him to act as a finisher and also to score 84 goals from 125 Appearances for his national team with a better goals per game ratio than his club football career. Chhetri's style of play increasingly features elements identical to Kom's trademark never-quit commitment and sheer grit. Where he was once all spark plug and no gears, now it's watchful cruise control, but without concession on any scoring opportunity. In his entertaining From Delhi To The Den (written along with Owen Amos), the former India manager Stephen Constantine says this "hard-working striker with superb technique" is crucial to team spirit because he embodies fearlessness. You can see it in the goals he racks up, one after another: the astonishing 80-yard run foxing seven separate defenders to score against Kyrgyzstan, the imperious chip over Kenya's outclassed goalkeeper, the edges, parries and headers piled up relentlessly to break every Indian record.

"Chhetri is in a category all by himself", says Marcus Mergulhao, Goan sports journalist of The Times of India, who is himself one of Indian football's most respected institutions. He told me, "As a player, he has made youngsters fall in love with the game. As a person, he has made the media take note. He is the face and voice of Indian football, who has inspired a generation and given us hope. What's more, he's playing his very best at the moment. The last three years have been phenomenal. The ultimate gift the current crop of footballers can give back to him is take India among the top ten in Asia, and play against the top teams on a regular basis. Chhetri would be pleased with that."

Mergulhao says the superstar "is a different player and an extremely different person from the one that I had coffee with for the first time in the summer of 2009. It is his stints abroad that changed everything – at the Sporting Kansas City in the United States and later with Sporting CP in Portugal. Those experiences opened his eyes to another, more professional approach, more efficient ways of training, and probably showed him just how much ground he needed to cover. He didn't get to play very much, but by the time he returned he was clearly transformed, and you could see on the field that he was clearly a cut above the rest." While still with Sporting CP, Chhetri was lent to the Goa team Churchill Brothers FC Goa, and Mergulhao recalls one crucial game when "with just a few minutes left, Chhetri stepped up and scored from a free kick so effortlessly that you could tell this man had astounding self-belief. The Brazilian star Roberto Mendes da Silva Beto was also in that side and the regular free kick taker, but Chhetri knew what he was doing, showing incredible poise and confidence. You have to remember that in the first ten years of his career, this player did not win any league title, then in the next seven years, he won four. That's how you understand Chhetri as a footballer, and the influence he has over Indian football." Sunil also likes to score by dribbling the defenders with his fake touches and also from long rangers like how he did against some teams like Johor Darul Ta'zim in 2016 AFC Cup.[145]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 17 November 2022[146]

Club Season League Cup[147] Continental[148] Other[149] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Mohun Bagan 2002–03 National Football League 18 4 18 4
2003–04 2 2
2004–05 2 2
Mohun Bagan total 18 8 18 8
JCT 2005–06 National Football League 48 3 48 3
2006–07 12 12
2007–08 I-League 7 7
JCT total 48 22 48 22
East Bengal 2008–09 I-League 17 9 4 2 0 0 5 2 26 13
East Bengal total 17 9 4 2 0 0 5 2 26 13
Dempo 2009–10 I-League 13 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 8
Dempo total 13 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 8
Kansas City Wizards 2010 Major League Soccer 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Kansas City Wizards total 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Chirag United 2010–11 I-League 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7
Chirag United total 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7
Mohun Bagan 2011–12 I-League 14 8 2 1 0 0 0 0 16 9
Dempo total 14 8 2 1 0 0 0 0 16 9
Sporting CP B 2012–13 LigaPro 3 0 0 0 3 0
Sporting CP B total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Churchill Brothers (loan) 2012–13 I-League 8 4 0 0 5 2 0 0 13 6
Churchill Brothers total 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 6
Bengaluru 2013–14 I-League 23 14 3 1 0 0 26 15
2014–15 20 2 6 6 6 3 0 0 32 11
Bengaluru total 43 16 9 7 6 3 0 0 58 26
Mumbai City 2015 Indian Super League 11 7 0 0 11 7
Mumbai City total 11 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 7
Bengaluru (loan) 2015–16 I-League 14 5 2 1 4 3 0 0 20 9
Bengaluru total 14 5 2 1 4 3 0 0 20 9
Mumbai City 2016 Indian Super League 6 0 0 0 6 0
Mumbai City total 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Bengaluru 2016–17 I-League 16 7 3 0 11 5 0 0 30 12
2017–18 Indian Super League 21 14 4 6 8 4 0 0 33 24
2018–19 19 9 1 1 2 0 0 0 22 10
2019–20 17 9 0 0 2 2 0 0 19 11
2020–21 20 8 1 1 0 0 21 9
2021–22 20 4 3 0 0 0 23 4
2022–23 6 0 7 3 0 0 0 0 13 3
Bengaluru total 119 51 15 10 27 12 0 0 161 73
Career total 321 145 33 21 42 20 5 2 401 188

International[edit]

Chhetri (left) celebrating a goal with his teammate Anirudh Thapa in a 2019 AFC Asian Cup group match against Thailand
As of match played 27 September 2022
Appearances and goals by year[150]
Year Apps Goals
2005 5 1
2006 1 0
2007 7 6
2008 13 8
2009 6 1
2010 6 3
2011 17 13
2012 8 4
2013 11 5
2014 2 3
2015 12 6
2016 4 2
2017 6 5
2018 6 8
2019 11 7
2021 10 8
2022 6 4
Total 131 84

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Dempo

Churchill Brothers

Bengaluru

International[edit]

India[151]

India U-20

Individual[edit]

Pratibha Patil, then-president of India, presenting the Arjuna Award to Chhetri in 2011.

Others

Awards and accolades[edit]

Records[edit]

[163]

  • First Indian player to have played in three different continents
  • Most goals by an Indian in AFC Competitions
  • Most hat-tricks by an Indian in Indian Super League
  • First Indian player to score hat-trick in Indian Super League
  • Highest Indian goal scorer in Indian Super League
  • Highest Indian goal scorer in I-League
  • AIFF Player of the Year for a record seven times
  • Most hat-tricks for India
  • Most appearances for India (131)
  • Highest international goals by an Indian (84)
  • First Footballer to receive Khel Ratna Award

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Sunil Chhetri". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  2. ^ Chaudhuri, Arunava. "Season ending Transfers 2002: India". indianfootball.de. Indian Football Network. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Six of the best Indian football players of all time: a guide to the greats". Olympics. 2 July 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  4. ^ "SportMob – Best Indian football players of all time". SportMob. 12 May 2021. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Captain Fantastic Chhetri strike seals India's 1–0 win over Kyrgyzstan". Business Standard India. Business Standard. Press Trust of India. 13 June 2017. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Captain fantastic Sunil Chhetri seals 2018 Intercontinental Cup for India". Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited. 10 June 2018. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Sunil Chhetri: No better place than Doha for Indian football's Asian revival". Gulf Times. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  8. ^ "AFC Cup 2016: Sunil Chhetri – The captain who leads by example". Sportskeeda. 20 October 2016. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  9. ^ "We're upbeat: Sunil". The Telegraph. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Chhetri becomes the first Indian to join MLS". Rediff.com. 26 March 2016. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  11. ^ "The Rs 1 crore boys". The Telegraph. 15 April 2016. Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d "Sunil Chhetri". National-Football-Teams. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Goal rush". The Tribune. pp. https://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20041106/spr-trib.htm. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  14. ^ a b c Wiebe, Andrew. "Wizards sign Indian forward Chhetri". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Sunil Chhetri joins Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' side". IBN Live. 21 August 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014.
  16. ^ "AFC Challenge Cup '08: India Win The AFC Challenge Cup '08". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  17. ^ Sengupta, Somnath (20 January 2011). "India In AFC Asian Cup 2011: Performance Review". The Hard Tackle. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Sunil Chhetri named 2014 AIFF Player of the Year". The Times of India. 27 December 2014. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Sunil Chhetri named AIFF Player of Year for sixth time". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. TOI. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  20. ^ Desk, India TV News (2 November 2021). "Manpreet Singh, Sunil Chhetri to get Khel Ratna | Hockey News – India TV". www.indiatvnews.com. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  21. ^ "FIFA honours Chhetri for his achievements, releases three-episode series on his life and career". The Indian Express. 28 September 2022. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  22. ^ "7th National Football League – Leading Goal Scorers". Rediff. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  23. ^ "India 2002/03". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  24. ^ "India 2003/04". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  25. ^ "India 2004/05". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  26. ^ "India 2005/06". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  27. ^ a b "61st Santosh Trophy". IndianFootball.com. Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  28. ^ "11th National Football League 2007". Rediff. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  29. ^ "JCT shock Mohun Bagan". Rediff. 10 January 2007. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  30. ^ "Chetri brace gives JCT victory". Rediff. 12 April 2007. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  31. ^ "India 2007/08". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  32. ^ Datt, Anil (23 February 2008). "JCT crush Salgaocar, finish third". Tribune India. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  33. ^ Duerden, John (9 October 2008). "Sunil Chhetri's Indian Diary". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  34. ^ "Report says Leeds keen on Chhetri". Telegraph India. Calcutta, India. 12 October 2008. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  35. ^ Mergulhao, Marcus (11 October 2008). "Chhetri on Leeds United radar". India Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  36. ^ "India 2008/09". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  37. ^ "East Bengal begin League campaign on winning note". Thaindian News. 26 September 2008. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  38. ^ "Chettri strike hands East Bengal win over JCT". Rediff. 13 December 2008. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  39. ^ "Sangram stars as Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal to enter Fed Cup Final". Mohun Bagan AC. 18 December 2008. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  40. ^ "Indian Players For MLS?". Goal.com. 12 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  41. ^ "Coventry calling for Sunil Chhetri". The Indian Express. 23 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  42. ^ "Coventry no more interested in Chhetri". Rediff. 29 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  43. ^ Sarkar, Saikat (20 May 2009). "Chhetri gears up for Goa stint". Express India. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  44. ^ a b "Two-year Dempo deal for Chhetri". Hindustan Times. 22 May 2009. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  45. ^ a b c Bali, Rahul (7 August 2009). "Celtic scouts monitor Chhetri". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  46. ^ a b "Chhetri denied UK work permit". Hindustan Times. 30 August 2009. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  47. ^ Bali, Rahul (24 March 2010). "Sunil Chhetri Off To USA To Fulfill His Kansas Dream". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  48. ^ "Sunil Chhetri Makes Kansas City Debut". Sporting Kansas City. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  49. ^ "Frustrated but determined, Chhetri to see time vs. Man Utd". MLSsoccer.com. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010.
  50. ^ > "Are Kansas City Wizards Playing Sunil Chhetri Against Manchester United As A PR Exercise?". Goal.com. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018.
  51. ^ "Press Release: Wizards beat Man United". Sporting Kansas City. Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  52. ^ "Sunil Chhetri loaned to Indian team". DNA India. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  53. ^ Austin, Kurt (7 February 2011). "Sporting KC Makes Four Roster Moves | Sporting Kansas City". Sportingkc.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  54. ^ "I-League: Indian National Team Striker Sunil Chhetri Signs For Chirag United". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  55. ^ "PRAYAG UNITED VS. DEMPO 2 – 4". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  56. ^ "ONGC VS. PRAYAG UNITED 2 – 2". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  57. ^ "I-League: Sunil Chhetri Returns To Former Club Mohun Bagan For A Year". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  58. ^ "Sunil Chhetri joins Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' side". CNN IBN Live. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  59. ^ "Sunil Chhetri makes his debut for Sporting Lisbon". NDTV. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  60. ^ "Press Release". Sporting Clube de Portugal. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  61. ^ "KITCHEE VS. CHURCHILL BROTHERS 3 – 0". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  62. ^ "CHURCHILL BROTHERS VS. SEMEN 2 – 2". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  63. ^ "Churchill Brothers are I-League champions 2012–13". NDTV. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  64. ^ "JSW Sports sign National Team Captain Sunil Chhetri". The All India Football Federation. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  65. ^ "BENGALURU VS. MOHUN BAGAN 1 – 1". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  66. ^ "BENGALURU VS. RANGDAJIED UNITED 3 – 0". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  67. ^ "MUMBAI VS. BENGALURU 2 – 2". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  68. ^ "BENGALURU VS. SHILLONG LAJONG 2 – 1". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  69. ^ "Bengaluru FC beat Churchill, extend lead at top". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  70. ^ Bera, Koustav. "Mohammedan Sporting 2–3 Bengaluru FC: The table toppers win the five goal thriller amidst controversy and furore". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  71. ^ "I-league: Bengaluru FC beat Salgaocar FC 2–1 through penalties". NDTV Sports. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  72. ^ "Federation Cup: Bengaluru FC register 5–3 win over Sporting Clube de Goa". NDTV Sport. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  73. ^ "Mohun Bagan 4 – 1 Bengaluru Match report – 20/02/15 I-League – Goal.com". goal.com. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015.
  74. ^ "Jindal: Will Chhetri stay with Bengaluru if we do not offer ISL?". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  75. ^ Marar, Nandakumar (10 July 2015). "Sunil Chetri goes to Mumbai City FC for Rs 1.20 crore". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  76. ^ "Mendoza brace helps Chennai register second win". Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  77. ^ "Chhetri brace leads Mumbai to first win". Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  78. ^ "Mumbai City FC beat table-toppers FC Goa 2-0 at home". Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  79. ^ "Mumbai City FC drub NorthEast United FC 5-1 at home". Archived from the original on 31 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  80. ^ "India - S. Chhetri - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway". Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  81. ^ "Chhetri pens new deal with Bengaluru FC | Bengaluru Football Club". Archived from the original on 12 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  82. ^ "Sunil Chhetri: The Indian goal machine in the ISL". Olympic Channel. 8 November 2020. Archived from the original on 2 December 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  83. ^ Moulee, Chandra (15 February 2021). "ISL 2020–21: Sunil Chhetri set to play 200th match for Bengaluru FC". InsideSport. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  84. ^ Sportstar, Team (25 February 2021). "ISL 2020–21 news: Sunil Chhetri scores his 100th goal for Bengaluru FC". Sportstar. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  85. ^ Scroll Staff (24 June 2021). "Sunil Chhetri extends his stay at Bengaluru FC for two more years". Football Express. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  86. ^ Narayan, Aaditya (19 September 2022). "Durand Cup 2022 review: The perfect curtain-raiser to the Indian football season". www.espn.in. Kolkata: ESPN. Archived from the original on 20 September 2022. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  87. ^ Aigner, Micky (27 March 2004). "Young side for Pakistan SAF Games". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  88. ^ "The Indian U20 Team at the 2004 Islamabad SAF Games". indianfootball.de. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  89. ^ "Pakistan hold India in first football match". Rediff. 12 June 2005. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  90. ^ "Proud Moment For India As Sunil Chhetri Earns A Spot Among The Top 10 International Goalscorers". Story Minter. 22 October 2019. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  91. ^ "India outplay Cambodia 6–0 in Nehru Cup opener". Reuters India. 17 August 2007. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  92. ^ Basu, Jaydeep (24 August 2007). "Gallant India go down 2–3". Telegraph India. Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  93. ^ "India beat Kyrgyzstan 3–0". Andhra Cafe. 27 August 2007. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  94. ^ "India defeats Syria 1–0 in Nehru Cup final". Indopia. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  95. ^ "Lebanon 4–1 India". FIFA. 8 October 2007. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  96. ^ "India 2–2 Lebanon". FIFA. 30 October 2007. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  97. ^ "Lebanon beat India on aggregate in World Cup qualifier". Reuters. 30 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  98. ^ "India 4 – 0 Nepal: Champs in control". Maldive Soccer. 3 June 2008. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  99. ^ "India 2 – 1 Bhutan: Holders into the final". Maldive Soccer. 11 June 2008. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  100. ^ "India – Maldives 0:1". Footiemag.de. 14 June 2008. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  101. ^ "Injury time goal by Climax gives India 1–0 win over Afghanistan". India Times. 30 July 2008. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  102. ^ "Tajikistan 1–1 India" (PDF). AFC. 1 August 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  103. ^ "Turkmenistan 1–2 India" (PDF). AFC. 3 August 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  104. ^ "Chhetri's late goal takes India to final". Rediff. 7 August 2008. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  105. ^ a b Basu, Jaydeep (13 August 2008). "Kashmiri hug in football's 24-yr moment". Telegraph India. Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  106. ^ "India win AFC Challenge Cup". Rediff. 13 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  107. ^ Ghoshal, Amoy (19 August 2009). "Nehru Cup: Probably I Won't Play – Sunil Chhetri". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  108. ^ "India 2–1 Kyrgyzstan". Indianfootball.com. 23 August 2009. Archived from the original on 26 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  109. ^ Ghoshal, Amoy (24 August 2009). "Nehru Cup: Let's Win Nehru Cup For Bhaichung – Sunil Chhetri". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 27 August 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  110. ^ "FULL TIME: India 0–1 Lebanon". IndianFootball.com. 19 August 2009. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  111. ^ "FULL TIME: India 3–1 Sri Lanka". IndianFootball.com. 26 August 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  112. ^ "FULL TIME: India 0–1 Syria". IndianFootball.com. 29 August 2009. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  113. ^ "Player Ratings: India 6–5 Syria (1–1 AET)". Goal.com. 31 August 2009. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  114. ^ ":::: The Aiff ::::". Archived from the original on 15 July 2012.
  115. ^ "Football - Soccer - South Asian (SAFF) Championship - 1997". Archived from the original on 1 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  116. ^ Bali, Rahul. "India 2–1 Syria: Chhetri and Pereira get Koevermans off to a winning start". goal.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  117. ^ "India vs Maldives Lineups and Statistics". goal.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  118. ^ "2012 Nehru Cup: India want to achieve title hattrick, but Cameroon in the way". Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  119. ^ "India vs Macau, AFC Asian Cup Qualifier, Highlights: As It Happened". News18. 11 October 2017. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  120. ^ "Sunil Chhetri hits hat-trick, India sink Chinese Taipei 5–0 in Intercontinental Cup". Hindustan Times. 11 June 2018. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  121. ^ "India vs Kenya Football Highlights Intercontinental Cup: Sunil Chhetri's brace earns India 3–0 victory". The Indian Express. 5 June 2018. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  122. ^ "Intercontinental Cup 2018: India vs New Zealand, 3 things that went wrong for Sunil Chhetri and co". Sportskeeda. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  123. ^ "India Thrash Kenya 2–0 To Lift Intercontinental Cup". NDTV. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  124. ^ "India win 2018 Intercontinental Cup". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  125. ^ Sportstar, Team (6 January 2019). "AFC Asian Cup 2019 Highlights: India stuns Thailand 4–1". Sportstar. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  126. ^ "India vs Bangladesh Live Score, FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier: IND 2–0 BAN, FT". The Indian Express. 7 June 2021. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  127. ^ "SAFF Championship 2021: India down Maldives to set up final date against Nepal | Goal.com". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  128. ^ "India's Sunil Chhetri breaks Pele's international goal record after brace against Maldives". Goal.com. 13 October 2021. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  129. ^ "India Blank Nepal 3-0, Win SAAF Championship For 8th Time; Sunil Chhetri Equals Lionel Messi With 80 Goals". India.com. 16 October 2021. Archived from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  130. ^ Sharma, Amitabha Das (9 June 2022). "Chhetri scores brace as India beats Cambodia in AFC Asian Cup qualifier". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  131. ^ "AFC Asian Cup qualifiers: Chhetri and Sahal score as India beats Afghanistan 2-1". 11 June 2022. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  132. ^ "India 4–0 Hong Kong". Soccerway. 14 June 2022.
  133. ^ "India qualify for 2023 Asian Cup, set for first back-to-back appearances". 14 June 2022. Archived from the original on 14 June 2022. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  134. ^ "Happy Birthday Sunil Chhetri: 5 Interesting Facts About The Indian Football Captain". News18. 3 August 2021. Archived from the original on 3 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  135. ^ Dsouza, Stanislaus P (31 July 2010). "Sunil Chhetri: A thinking footballer". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  136. ^ "Sunil Chhetri's 32nd birthday: Lesser known facts about the Indian football team captain". IndiaToday.in. 3 August 2016. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  137. ^ Schaerlaeckens, Leander (10 May 2010). "Indian star's soccer journey leads to K.C." ESPN. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  138. ^ "Sunil Chhetri's mum is a former Nepali international: Interview with Sunil Chhetri". Goal Nepal. 29 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  139. ^ "Sunil Chhetri marries long-time girlfriend Sonam Bhattacharya". Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  140. ^ Rakshit, Abhisek; Dey, Soham (10 June 2021). "ডিফেন্সে থাকলে কীভাবে আটকাতেন জামাই সুনীলকে? জামাইষষ্ঠীর আগে টোটকা সুব্রতর". sangbadpratidin.in (in Bengali). Sangbad Pratidin. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  141. ^ "Asian Icons: Sunil Chhetri". www.the-afc.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  142. ^ PTI (10 December 2019). "Sunil Chhetri signs three-year deal with Puma". Sportstar. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  143. ^ [1]
  144. ^ "FIFA Launches Three-Episode Series on Life, Career of Legendary Footballer Sunil Chhetri | Football News".
  145. ^ "Why Sunil Chhetri, the vanguard of Indian football, is our favourite". 4 February 2021. Archived from the original on 5 May 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  146. ^ "Bengaluru FC vs Jamshedpur FC Live Score Update, Commentary, Scorecard". Indian Super League. Archived from the original on 22 September 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  147. ^ Includes Federation Cup, Durand Cup, U.S. Open Cup & Super Cup
  148. ^ Includes AFC Cup, AFC Champions League
  149. ^ Includes Calcutta Football League
  150. ^ "Sunil Chhetri". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  151. ^ Media Team, AIFF (15 August 2022). "Indian Football Down the Years: Looking back at the glorious moments". www.the-aiff.com. New Delhi: All India Football Federation. Archived from the original on 21 September 2022. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  152. ^ Sportstar, Team (9 July 2019). "Sunil Chhetri and Ashalata Devi bag top honours at AIFF Awards". sportstar.thehindu.com. Sportstar. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  153. ^ "Sunil Chhetri, Manisha Kalyan bag AIFF Footballer of the Year awards". english.mathrubhumi.com. Kozhikode, Kerala: Mathrubhumi Sports. 9 August 2022. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  154. ^ "FOOTBALL RATNA' AWARD FOR SUNIL CHHETRI". the-aiff.com. AIFF. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  155. ^ AFC Cup All-time XI:The Strikers Archived 27 March 2021 at the Wayback Machine the-afc.com. Retrieved 28 March 2021
  156. ^ "Sunil Chhetri named among 13 strikers to choose all-time best three in AFC Cup". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  157. ^ "Arjuna Award an inspiration: Chhetri". The Hindu. 29 August 2011. Archived from the original on 4 July 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  158. ^ "LIST OF ARJUNA AWARD WINNERS - Football | Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports". yas.nic.in. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Archived from the original on 25 December 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
  159. ^ "List of Arjuna Awardees (1961–2018)" (PDF). Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (India). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  160. ^ Kumar, Coreena Suares, Suresh Kavirayani and K. Kalyan Krishna (26 January 2019). "Three persons from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Sunil Chhetri get Padma Shri awards". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  161. ^ "Sunil Chhetri, football's first Khel Ratna awardee, says it has been a dream journey | Football News - Times of India". The Times of India. 3 November 2021. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  162. ^ "National Sports Awards 2021: Neeraj Chopra, Lovlina Borgohain, Mithali Raj Among 9 Others to Get Khel Ratna". News18. 2 November 2021. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  163. ^ Banerjee, Ritabrata. Indian football: 10 records held by Sunil Chhetri in international and club football Archived 19 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine. Goal.com.

External links[edit]