Charismatic Indian football player Sunil Chhetri expressed hope that he will continue to play and score for the country in the near future after equaling Pele, one of the greatest players of the game in terms of number of goals scored at the international level. Chhetri played a key role in India’s 1-0 win against Nepal in the 83rd minute of the SAIF Championship. This is the team’s first win in three matches in the tournament to remain in the tournament. This is Chhetri’s 77th international goal, equaling Pele’s. The performance of the Indian football team has been declining for some time but it has not shown its effect on Chhetri’s game.
The Indian King equals The King! All hail the joint-8th top scorer in men’s international history
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) October 10, 2021
After the match, Chhetri told news agency PTI-Bhasha, ‘I keep being asked about my consistency, I wish I had an answer. But the truth is that I have not prepared any blueprint. It is about giving my best every single day and I am thankful that it has not gone down. Questions have been raised about Chhetri’s age but the Indian captain made it clear that he has not thought much about the future and will continue to play at the top level.
Chhetri, who has played 123 matches for India, said, ‘Maybe you may find my words a lie. But I have never thought about my future as a football player. I have said before that I like to wake up in the morning, practice and play. I absolutely enjoy it and never want to stop. My future plans with football will literally be like my next training session. I’m lucky to have a ‘support system’ all around me that makes sure I don’t have to think or worry about anything that doesn’t involve football. It makes it easier for me to live my passion.
With this goal, Chhetri is joint third in active football players with Ali Mabkhout of UAE. Cristiano Ronaldo (112) and Lionel Messi (79) have more goals than him. Despite countless achievements for himself and the team as a top-class striker at both the international and club levels, his hunger to do the best in the game remains. He said, ‘It is quite simple. If there is a trophy, I want to win it. There will be very few players who will be satisfied with their number of trophies, I am no different from them.
The Indian captain said, “On a personal level, I am not a big fan of statistics and achievements. But don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for everything I have achieved. For me though, there is nothing bigger than winning for the team, be it for the country or the club.