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India's football giant Sunil Chhetri to retire after Kuwait match
Photo courtesy: X/@chetrisunil11

India's football giant Sunil Chhetri to retire after Kuwait match

| @indiablooms | 16 May 2024, 10:30 am

New Delhi/IBNS: India's football giant Sunil Chhetri on Thursday announced he will quit from international sporting arena after the FIFA World Cup qualification match against Kuwait.

The match is scheduled to be held on June 6.

Chhetri, who is the India captain, announced it in a video message on his X handle.

Announcing his retirement, 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."

"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," he added.

Chhetri, 39, is the third highest international goal scorer among the players who are in active football after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

He is the most capped player and all-time highest goal scorer for India.

Chhetri, who began his professional career playing for Mohun Bagan in 2002, now captains Bengaluru Football Club in ISL.

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