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Sunil Chhetri: A Legendary Career Comes to a Close

India’s All-Time Top Scorer Hangs Ups His Boots After 0-0 Draw Against Kuwait.
goal.com, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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goal.com, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Today, June 6, 2024, India’s all-time top scorer Sunil Chhetri played his final game for the Indian national team. After 19 memorable years, Sunil Chhetri’s international career comes to an end following today’s 0-0 draw against Kuwait.

 The match, held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India, was a pivotal match for India in their journey towards the World Cup. 

The Indian national team went into the World Cup qualifier needing a win to advance to the next round. Despite the draw, which meant India’s World Cup hopes were put off, the match still had immense significance since it was Sunil Chhetri’s great farewell.

His final appearance marked the final chapter in his illustrious international career, which sees him leave as both the player with the most games for his country and India’s all-time top scorer. 

Sunil Chhetri is without a doubt a legend not only for the Indian people but for anyone who loves the beautiful game

. Born on August 3, 1984, in Secunderabad, he made his international debut in 2005 against Pakistan. Sunil Chhetri scored in his very first international game and didn’t stop since. Over the course of 151 matches for India, he scored an incredible 94 goals. 

As of now, he stands third among active international scorers, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Sunil Chhetri’s club career is equally as illustrious as his international career. He began with Mohun Bagan in 2002, later playing for JCT, East Bengal, Dempo, Sporting B, and even Kansas City Wizards in the MLS. Out of all the clubs he has played for, his most notable tenure was with Bengaluru FC, where he led the team to multiple I-League and Indian Super League titles.

Sunil Chhetri’s retirement marks the end of an era for Indian football.

 His influence, however, extends beyond just goal-scoring records. His career highlights include leading India to victories in the AFC Challenge Cup (2008), SAFF Championship (2011, 2015, 2021, 2023), and the Nehru Cup (2007, 2009, 2012). 

Sunil Chhetri’s legacy is profound; he made the sport popular in India, which is impressive in a country where cricket dominates the sports landscape.

Sunil Chhetri’s retirement is a momentous occasion in Indian sports.

 From a young boy in Secunderabad to an international football icon, his journey will forever be a reminder of just how far hard work can get you. Chhetri’s career is sure to inspire a generation of Indian footballers, and his impact within the sport is sure to be felt for years to come.

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Nathan Azevedo Espindula
Nathan Azevedo Espindula, Editor and Chief
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