Indian Football mainstay, Sunil Chhetri created history when he scored two goals in the country’s 4-1 win in their AFC Cup group stage opener against Thailand.
Sunil Chhetri has surpassed Lionel Messi with the veteran Indian scoring his 66th and 67th Goal against Thailand, while Messi has 65 International Goals to his name.
▶Cristiano Ronaldo – 85
⏫SUNIL CHHETRI – 67
⏬Lionel Messi – 65
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 7, 2019
There are no words to describe Sunil Chhetri and what he has achieved in Indian Football. He is one man that has been a catalyst in building Football in India from an underfunded and underappreciated sport to a potential Football Giant with bags of potential. Chhetri has gone on to break record upon record for the Indian Football team and at times has virtually carried the country on his shoulders. He has scored 67 International Goals which is the second-highest in the World for any active player, Chhetri is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored a mind-boggling 85 Goals. But what makes the record even more special is the fact that Chhetri scored these 2 goals in a winning cause.
Going into the AFC Asian Cup India knew that in a Group with Bahrain, Thailand, and UAE they were facing three teams that are tactically and physically better than India. But the fact that India pulled off a 4-1 win with such a dominant display is way bigger than the record. India last registered a win in 1964 in the AFC Asian Cup and the 4-1 margin is India’s best victory ever in the tournament. Chhetri is the type of player that always puts the team ahead of himself and he’s the kind of personality that would trade in all these goals if that would mean his Country would win more honors.
Considering the bigger picture, this is a good but small start. But I'll talk about just this game – it was bloody brilliant to be a part of the way my team went about things. And it's even more special knowing we made a country happy, even if it is only for a day.🙏🙏
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) January 6, 2019
It’s pretty evident from his tweet here that Chhetri didn’t care about his record as much and he’s also weary enough to not get carried away after this victory. Yes, India have beaten Thailand by a heavy 4-1 margin and have made a perfect start to the tournament. But the onus would be on Sunil Chhetri to ensure that the team keeps their feet on the ground and does not get too carried away by their early success. The record is great but what’s satisfying to see is that there is a whole generation of young Footballers on the team who are fighting with all their might and are getting the much-required experience to take their game to the next level.
When you see a 34-Year-old Sunil Chhetri giving his all for the country and running in with the enthusiasm of a teenager you are bound to get inspired. Sunil Chhetri is a revelation and the man deserves a lot more recognition and credit than he’s given because he made us dream and that is priceless.