Captain of the Indian national team, Sunil Chhetri is an Indian professional footballer who was born on 3rd August 1984 in Secunderabad, India.
He plays as a striker for the Indian national team and Indian club Bengaluru FC. He is the most-capped player, and also the all-time top goalscorer for the India national team.
From a very young age, Chhetri started taking part in various football tournaments.
Chhetri began his professional career in 2002 at Mohun Bagan. He then represented JCT, Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.
He also represented Bengaluru FC from 2013 years. During the 2015 Indian Super League, Chhetri was picked up by Mumbai City for Rs. 1.2 crores, making him the most expensive Indian player at the auctions.
On 30th March 2004, Chhetri played his first game for the Indian U-20 team in the 1–0 victory over the Pakistan U-23 team in the 2004 SAF Games in Pakistan.
India defeated Cambodia 6-0 in Chhetri’s first international tournament which was the 2007 Nehru Cup in which Chhetri scored 2 goals.
His good form continued and eventually became one of the best Indian footballer.
Rise to Glory
It was with the national team that Chhetri gained fame and made a name for himself. He helped India win the Nehru Cup 3 times in 2007, 2009 and 2012 as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship.
During the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, he was also one of India’s best players in which India won the tournament and thus qualified for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years.
At the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, he led India in scoring during their short-lived campaign with two goals.
In 2002, Sunil started his club career with Mohun Bagan and after 3 years, he moved to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games, the most he has scored for any side in his career.
In 2010, he became the third player from the subcontinent to go abroad when he signed for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.
Before going back abroad, he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan. Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Primeira Liga signed Chhetri where he played for the club’s reserve side.
He also represented Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League.
For the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification, Chhetri was named as the national team Captain which took place in Malaysia. He managed to score 21 goals after captainship and helped his side to win many titles.
Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year four times in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. With 56 goals in 97 appearances, he is also the all-time top goalscorer for the India national team, and also he is the most-capped player.
Other than Arjuna award in 2011, he was also honored with FPAI Indian Player of the Year in 2009, AFC Challenge Cup Most Valuable Player in 2008, SAFF Championship Player of the Tournament in 2011 and Hero of the I-League for the 2016–17 season.
He has scored 104 goals in 212 appearances he made in his Club Career.
$1 Million Approximately
1. “If you ask me personally, I love NO.10.”
2. “See, when I was younger I used to think a lot about goals. How many I’ve scored and how many the others have scored. Now I’m at ease. I love scoring, make no mistake about that. I love scoring in every game.”
3. “If I score a hat-trick but the team loses, it will not feel nice. So for me and the team, it’s all about three points. Who scores is not important.”
4. “I’m far from being done with football.”
5. “As a player you always want more days to prepare. But that’s not going to happen. Whatever the calendar is, you have to acclimatize. For the young ones, it’s a little bit difficult, because they haven’t played much.”
6. “This is how it has been the last three years. That’s when you realize that the onus or the pressure is not only on one person–we all share the burden. Everybody chips in and that’s important.”
7. “ I love attacking and I am happy playing everywhere.”
8. “ Look at how it (ISL) has brought so many people together. When you open facebook, twitter, so many different people coming together and talking football.”
9. “It has been pretty good. I am enjoying my time in ISL.”
10. “Golden boots is not at all on my mind, it has been and will never be on my mind.”