Sunil Chhetri: The inspirational journey of the ‘Captain..Leader..Legend’
XtraTime Web Desk: He is one of the greatest footballers in the history of Indian footballer. The highest Indian goalscorer is also on the second place after Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of top active goalscorers in International football. But do you know the remarkable journey of the Bengaluru FC Captain as a footballer?
Sunil Chhetri was born on August 3, 1984 in Secunderabad to K.B. Chhetri and Sushila Chhetri. His father extended his fruitful contributions for Indian Army’s team while his mother and her twin sisters played for the Nepal women’s national team. Sunil Chhetri started his footballing career at a young age where he actively took part in several tournaments.
He proudly represented India for the first time in Asian School Championship in the year 2001. Kolkata based Mohun Bagan club spotted Sunil Chhetri’s talent and roped the signature of him in the next year. He hogged the limelight when he made his debut for the senior Indian national team in 2004 Asian Games.
He announced his arrival in style when he scored his maiden goal against Pakistan. Due to his string of excellent spells for the clun and country, he was selected as AIFF Player of the Year. He enjoys netting the goals playing as a forward and was awarded the Best Player of the Year and Best Forward by the National Football League.
Sunil Chhetri became an icon when he steered India win the Nehru Cup for the first time since 1997. He has gone from strength to strength and went on to lead India to lift the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup where he was Awarded Most Valuable Player.
Sunil Chhetri gained global attention for his stellar performances and he signed for English Club Queens Park Rangers but unfortunately, he was not given a work permit. In 2009, he was the Awarded Best Player and Best Striker by Football Players’ Association of India. In the next year, he created history as he was the first Indian footballer to ply the trade for a Major League Soccer Club in USA. He was named the captain of the Indian football team for the first time in 2010. Since then, records tumbled, games after games, moments after moments, India kept ye balls to eye balls in international stage only because the country had only Sunil Chhetri.
For all the Indian youngsters who dream to become footballers in future, find Sunil Chhetri as a role model – on and off the pitch.