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 3rd August 1984 in a defense family, his father played football for the Indian Army.
Sunil Chhatri Biography
Date of Birth
3 August 1984
Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Padma Shri-2019. Arjuna Award- 2011. 3rd highest goal scorer in international Football, named an 'Asian Icon' by AFC on his 34th birthday, 2021 – Khel Ratna Award, highest sporting honour of India
KB Chhetri & Sushila Chhetri
Teams Played for
Indian Football Team, Bengaluru FC, Mumbai city, Mohun Bagan, JCT, East Bengal
Indian National Football Team, Bengaluru FC
Bahá'í School, Gangtok, Sikkim
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.
Representing JCT (Jagajit Cotton & Textile Football Club), Sunil Chhetri scored 11 goals during the 2006-07 season. 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 Sunil 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 )-- Advertisement --
Legend of the Game
During the SAFF championship in 2011, Chhetri scored 7 goals becoming the top scorer. 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.
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 84 goals in 131 appearances. It is a big achievement for Indian Football and fans going crazy over FIFA World Cup Twitter and Instagram posts that included Chhetri alongside Messi and Ronaldo.
You know all about Ronaldo and Messi, now get the definitive story of the third highest scoring active men's international.
Sunil Chhetri | Captain Fantastic is available on FIFA+ now 🇮🇳
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) September 27, 2022
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 131 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.
Sunil Chhetri Wife: Sonam Bhattacharya
The ace Indian footballer married long-time girlfriend Sonam Bhattacharya in 2017.
Sunil Chhetri is a prime example of how hard work and determination can take you to become a great sportsperson.
Sunil Chhetri Records
Sunil Chhetri Career Stats
AFC Asian Cup Qualification: Sunil Chhetri Goals
SAFF Championship: Sunil Chhetri Goals
World Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri Goals
AFC Asian Cup: Sunil Chhetri Goals
Sunil Chettri Social Media
Two decades is a bit of a wait, but if it meant doing it in the blue of Bengaluru, then it was worth every season of trying. Durand Cup Champions – would have been a shame if an Army kid playing football professionally never had the chance to say this. 😉
Come on, BFC! pic.twitter.com/Uw6itY2JKJ
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) September 18, 2022
Seventy Five Years on, the script remains the same – to be better Indians, and better humans. 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/HJRGvn1lGt
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) August 15, 2022
Together, now more than ever. pic.twitter.com/jlJcsAqAvz
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) April 29, 2021
Got an all-clear from the tests and couldn't be happier to get back on the pitch (I missed it bad!). Grateful for all the kind messages that came in, wishing me a speedy recovery. Importantly, I'd want every one to stay safe and mask up at all times. pic.twitter.com/49YrYdJKlu
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) March 28, 2021