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Business News/ Sports / Football News/  Sunil Chhetri retires: Captain Fantastic gets emotional while announcing retirement, ‘Proud of playing for my country’
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Sunil Chhetri retires: Captain Fantastic gets emotional while announcing retirement, ‘Proud of playing for my country’

Sunil Chhetri, who made his debut in 2005, has scored 94 goals for the country. He will leave the scene as India's all-time top scorer and most-capped player.

Sunil Chhetri, Indian football team captain, announces retirement (PTI)Premium
Sunil Chhetri, Indian football team captain, announces retirement (PTI)

The match Against Kuwait is the last, Sunil Chhetri said on Thursday while announcing his retirement from international football. The Indian football team captain will play FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6.

Earlier in the day, Chhetri posted a video on X (previously Twitter) announcing his decision to retire. 

Remembering his days as a player, Chhetri said, "There is one day that I never forget and remember it quite often is the first time I played for my country. Man, it was unbelievable. But the day before, morning of the day, Sukhi sir, my first national team coach, in the morning he came to me and he’s like, you’re going to start? I can’t tell you how I was feeling man."

“I took my jersey, I sprayed some perfume on it, I have no idea why. So that day, everything that happened, once he told me, from breakfast to lunch and to the game and to my first goal in my debut, to conceding late 80th minute, that day is probably that I will never forget and is one of the best days of my national team journey," Sunil Chhetri recollected. 

“You know the feeling that I recollect in the last 19 years is a very nice combination between duty pressure and immense joy. I never thought individually, these are the many games that I’ve played for the country, this is what I’ve done, good or bad, but now I did it. This last one and a half, two months,"

“I did it and it was very strange. I did it because probably I was going towards the decision that this game, this next game is going to be my last."

Watch here

Chhetri made his 150th appearance for India in March and scored on the occasion against Afghanistan in Guwahati. India, though, lost that game 1-2.

Chhetri, who made his debut in 2005, has scored 94 goals for the country. He will leave the scene as India's all-time top scorer and most-capped player. He is also third in the list of highest goal scorers among active players behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 16 May 2024, 10:06 AM IST
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