End Of An Era! Sunil Chhetri Times His Exit To Perfection With Final Whistle At Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium On June 6

End Of An Era! Sunil Chhetri Times His Exit To Perfection With Final Whistle At Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium On June 6

Sunil Chhetri, on Thursday, announced his decision to bid adieu to international football after the FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Kuwait on June 6

Joe WilliamsUpdated: Thursday, May 16, 2024, 02:10 PM IST
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Sunil Chhetri, 39, will gracefully exit the international stage after nearly two decades of unwavering commitment, precisely 19 years of dedicated service to a team that leaned heavily on the prowess of the 5'7" forward to deliver every time he donned the blue jersey.

The legendary Sunil Chhetri, on Thursday, announced his decision to bid adieu to international football after the FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Kuwait on June 6, drawing the curtains on a spectacular career unparalleled in Indian football for its endurance and brilliance.

In a heartfelt video shared across his social media platforms, the longstanding captain of the national team revealed his decision.

Chhetri, who embarked on his journey in 2005, has etched his name in the annals of Indian football history with 94 goals for the country, securing his legacy as India's all-time leading scorer and most-capped player.

Standing proudly as the third-highest goal scorer among active players, trailing only behind giants Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he also holds the esteemed fourth position in the all-time international goal-scorers list.

"The match against Kuwait marks the final chapter," Chhetri announced with solemnity.

Perfect venue for farewell match

It seems fitting that Chhetri will culminate his illustrious journey at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, a city where he honed his skills and evolved into a formidable striker.

India currently stands second in Group A with four points, trailing behind leaders Qatar.

The legend of Sunil Chhetri

Reflecting on his journey, Chhetri reminisced about his debut against Pakistan in 2005, a moment he treasures dearly.

As he looks towards the future of Indian football, Chhetri emphasised the need to nurture the next generation of strikers. He expressed concern over the absence of main strikers among the current crop of players for their respective clubs, identifying a significant void in the national team.

In recent months, Chhetri sensed the impending conclusion of his glorious odyssey.

Skipper relives the glorious past

Recalling the mix of duty, pressure, and joy that defined his 19-year journey, Chhetri acknowledged the bittersweet realisation of his impending retirement.

As memories flooded his mind upon making the decision, Chhetri found solace in sharing his feelings with his family, witnessing varied reactions from his loved ones.

Amidst felicitations ahead of his 150th appearance for the Blue Tigers, Chhetri prepares to bid farewell to a chapter of his life that will forever be etched in the hearts of Indian football enthusiasts.

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