‘When you’re 37’: Sunil Chhetri shares moving message after completing 17 years with Indian football team


Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri has shared a heartwarming message on social media after completing 17 years of service as a player for his country, saying it has been an honor to don the national team jersey all these years . Chhetri took to Instagram to share the post with his fans. The Indian legend made his debut against Pakistan in June 2005.

“When you’re 37, you don’t bring special days around the stroke of midnight. You almost never make it until then. The biological clock, and all that. And so, the team and every single person who was in Salt Lake last night – decided to mark my 17th year playing for the country, in the most special way possible.

“The coaching staff and medical team arrived early as always to throw the ‘party’. Everyone’s best clothes were on hangers. Gurpreet and Sandesh had no intention of quieting down the locker room until we took the small meeting to the field. Entered the youths – Aakash, Roshan, Suresh, Anwar and Jeakson. Liston danced, Ashique sang, Manvir brought the music. And just when it looked like the celebration had run its course, Brandon, Udanta and Sahal announced that they were now in charge and we had only just begun,” Chhetri wrote on Instagram.

“It was an honor that I cannot explain in words, to have worn the national team shirt for 17 years. I would commit to doing it for another 17 years in a heartbeat. Until There, I’ll be grateful for nights like these, even if it means doing the whole ‘midnight’ thing a little earlier,” he added.

Chhetri is considered one of the greatest Indian footballers of all time. Chhetri is the most capped player and also the top scorer for the Blue Tigers. He has scored 83 goals in 128 official international appearances for India since his debut on June 12, 2005 against Pakistan.

Indian soccer legend Chhetri (83) is only behind Argentina’s Lionel Messi (86) and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (117), in terms of international goals scored for his country.

Sunil Chhetri has won the AIFF Player of the Year award six times. The Indian Football Federation award started in 1992 and since then Chettri has won the award most often. Chhetri received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award on November 13, 2021, becoming the first footballer to win the award. President Ram Nath Kovind conferred on him India’s highest honor in sport.

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Meanwhile, India cruised to a dramatic 1-2 win against Afghanistan in their second Group D game in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers at VYBK Stadium on Saturday, with Sunil Chhetri and Sahal Abdul Samad scoring for the country in 86th and 90+. 2nd minute respectively.

With the win, India move level on points with Hong Kong, with both teams tied on 6 points in Group D. India will face their direct opponents for the top spot in the group on June 14, when they will face the aforementioned Hong Kong at VYBK Stadium at 8:30 p.m.

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