HomeAthletesBiographiesSunil Chhetri Biography – The Undisputed King of Indian Football
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Sunil Chhetri Biography – The Undisputed King of Indian Football

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The 3rd highest active goal scorer in international football, Sunil Chhetri is the most successful professional footballer in India and plays as a forward and captains both Indian Super League club Bengaluru and the India national team. Born on August 3, 1984, in Secunderabad, India, Chhetri’s journey in football began at a young age, displaying immense talent and dedication from the outset. His career boasts a remarkable list of achievements and contributions to both domestic and international football. In this blog, we will look at Sunil Chhetri Biography, his career, stats, etc.

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Sunil Chhetri Biography

Name Sunil Chhetri
Date of birth 3 August 1984
Age 39
Place of birth Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Wife Sonam Bhattacharya
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in
Position(s) Forward
Current Team Bengaluru
Number 11
Goals 93
Apperances 145
Twitter @chetrisunil11
Instagram @chetri_sunil11

Early Life of Sunil Chhetri

Beginning his football career with a city club in Delhi, Sunil Chhetri quit his studies in 12th standard after he took part in Asian School Championship in Kuala Lumpur in October 2001. Representing Mohun Bagan and JCT FC, Chhetri’s passion for football was evident. Under the mentorship of the famous Subroto Bhattacharya, the center-forward striker made his way into East Bengal Club.

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Though Dempo won the title, and JCT came second. During the first Indian League, Hero I-League, Chhetri scored 7 goals in the season and JCT came third.

Making his international debut in 2007 with the ONGC Nehru Cup, Chhetri displayed exquisite skills. India won the title and Sunil Chhetri became the AIFF player of the year.

Losing out on many opportunities to play for European Clubs, Chhetri’s career was on the rise with the AFC championship. Bagging the AFC Challenge Cup and the Most Valuable Player trophy in 2008, he had just begun to make his mark.

In March 2010, Chhetri became the third Indian to play outside of South Asia and the first Indian to play in Major league soccer for the Kansas city wizards.

“One thing we like about Sunil is that he’s a crafty player. Technically he’s very sharp, and he’s a guy that has good attacking tendencies.” – Peter Vermes Coach at Sporting Kansas City (formerly known as Kansas city wizards )

Legend of the Game

In 2011, India won the SAFF Champion title and in the same year, also qualified for the Asian Cup for the first time. Chhetri was honored with the Arjuna Award and also become the captain of the Indian Team.

During the 2012-13 season, he led the team to win the Nehru Cup becoming the top scorer. Chhetri was loaned to Churchill Brothers to get more playing time.

He scored his first goal for Churchill Brothers on 12th March 2013 against Semen Padang. In this season Sunil Chhetri had scored 4 goals in 8 matches that helped Churchill retain their I-League title.

Chhetri joined the Bengaluru FC for the 2013-14 season, scoring 14 goals and 7 assists in 23 matches. He led the club to its first-ever victory in its debut season. During the 2014-15 season, Chhetri leads his club to victories.

In June 2022, Chhetri scored his 84th International goal against Hong Kong during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers and equaled the record of Real Madrid and Hungarian Football Legend Ferenc Puskás.

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After Ronaldo & Messi, Chhetri placed third in Top Active International Goalscorer

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri is standing in the third position amongst active players with 93 goals in 145 appearances. It is a big achievement for Sunil Chettri and Indian Football and the fans went wild over FIFA World Cup Twitter and Instagram posts that included Sunil Chhetri alongside Messi and Ronaldo. FIFA honoring Sunil Chhetri and placing him alongside greatest footballers like Messi and Ronaldo was indeed a noteworthy achievement.

Why Is Sunil Chhetri India’s All-time Great?

Sunil Chhetri became the top scorer for India and is in the race with Messi, and Ronaldo in the Top Active International Goalscorers.  He is also India’s most capped player with 145 appearances. Chhetri is the only Indian player to score an international hat-trick thrice.

Sunil has won the AIFF Player of the Year award a record seven times – in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Facts about Sunil Chhetri

  • Chhetri was born in Secunderabad in Telangana. His parents are Kharga and Sushila.
  • Sunil studied in different schools in Gangtok, Darjeeling, Kolkata, and Delhi.
  • His first major move was when he began his professional football career with Mohun Bagan in 2002.
  • Sunil Chhetri was signed in 2015 by the Indian football club Mumbai City F.C. from Bengaluru F.C. for the Indian Super League.
  • Chhetri became only the third Indian footballer to play for a foreign club after Mohammad Salem and Baichung Bhutia when he was selected for Kansas City Wizards in 2010.
  • He is also the second Indian player after Inder Singh to score goals in more than one game at the Asian Cup.
  • Sunil Chhetri is India’s all-time highest goal scorer.
  • He helped the Indian team clinch the Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009, and 2012 as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship.
  • Sunil Chhetri is a big fan of PlayStation and FIFA.
  • His favorite football team is FC Barcelona.
  • His favorite actress in Bollywood is Konkona Sen Sharma.
  • SAFF Championship Player of the Tournament (4): 2011, 2015, 2021, 2023

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Sunil Chhetri Wife: Sonam Bhattacharya

Sunil Chhetri and Sonam Bhattacharya
Image Source: The Indian Express

The ace Indian footballer married long-time girlfriend Sonam Bhattacharya in 2017. Sonam Sonam Bhattacharya, now wife of Sunil Chhetri, is the daughter of former Indian international and Mohun Bagan player Subrata Bhattacharya.

Sunil Chhetri is a prime example of how hard work and determination can take you to become a great sportsperson.

Sunil Chhetri Records

  • Highest international goals by an Indian
  • Most appearances for India

  • Most hat-tricks for India

  • AIFF Player of the Year for a record 7 times

  • Highest Indian goal scorer in I-League

  • Highest Indian goal scorer in ISL

  • First Indian player to score a hat-trick in ISL

  • Most hat-tricks by an Indian in ISL

  • First Indian player to have played in three different continents

  • First Footballer to receive Khel Ratna Award
  • Most goals by an Indian in AFC Competitions

Sunil Chhetri Career Stats


World Cup Qualifiers
SAFF Championship
AFC Asian Cup qualification
AFC Asian Cup


AFC Champions League

Sunil Chettri Social Media

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What is the origin of Sunil Chhetri?

Sunil Chhetri was born in Secunderabad in Telangana. His parents are Kharga and Sushila. Sunil studied in different schools in Gangtok, Darjeeling, Kolkata, and Delhi.

What is the nickname of Sunil Chhetri?

He has earned the nickname Captain Fantastic and is only the second player to reach the 100-game mark after Bhaichung Bhutia’s 104.

Does Sunil Chhetri play for any club?

Sunil Chhetri currently plays for Bengaluru FC.

Is Sunil Chhetri Nepalese?

Chhetri was born in Secunderabad (Telangana) to Nepalese origin parents. His father, Kharga Chettri was an officer in the Electronics and Mechanical Engineers Corps and played for the Indian Army’s football team.

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