The fourth highest goal scorer as of March 2017, Sunil Chhetri leads the Indian Football Team again in the AFC Asian Cup championship. The most successful professional footballer of India, plays for the Bengaluru RC in I-league. Born on 3rd August 1984 in a defense family, his father played football for the Indian Army.
Early Life of Chhetri
Beginning his football career with a city club in Delhi, Sunil Chhetri quit studies in 12th standard after he took part in Asian School Championship at Kuala Lumpur in October 2001. Representing the Mohum Bagan and JCT FC, Chhetri’s passion for football was evident. Under the mentorship of famous Subroto Bhattacharya, the centre forward striker made his way into East Bengal Club.
Representing JCT (Jagajit Cotton & Textile Football Club), Sunil Chhetri scored 11 goals during 2006-07 season. Though Dempo won the title, 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 first Indian to play in Major league soccer for Kansas city wizards.
“One thing we really 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 )
Sunil Creating History
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 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 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 2014-15 season, Chhetri lead his club to victories.
Is Chhetri India’s All time Great?
Sunil Chhetri currently plays for Bengaluru FC which currently ranks at 5th position in the I- League. He became the top scorer for India with 53 goals and is in the race with Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney as the Top Active International Goal scorers.
Chhetri is currently eyeing the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and is working hard with the team to qualify for the tournament.
Fun Facts about 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.
- Chhetri was signed in 2015 by 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 with 47 goals.
- He helped the Indian team clinch the Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2012 as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship.
- He has been awarded the AIFF Player of the Year award 4 times – 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014.
- Sunil Chhetri is a big fan of PlayStation and FIFA.
- His favourite football team is FC Barcelona.
- His favourite actress in Bollywood is Konkona Sen Sharma.
The ace Indian footballer was rcently in the news after getting married to long time girlfriend Sonam Bhattacharya. Team KreedOn wishes footballer a happy married life.
Sunil Chhetri is a prime example of how hard work and determination can take you to become a great sportsperson.
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