Kohli salutes Chhetri, lauds his stellar career

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 16, 2024 IST

Sunil Chhetri with Virat Kohli

New Delhi, May 16:Low profile, committed, extremely skilful, team-man to the core, astute leader, big match player, crisis manager, soccer  legend with magic-legs and so on.

Adjectives, adulations and thanksgiving words are sure to fall short, when we talk about Indian football captain and a player in a generation Sunil Chhetri's contributions to the game.

The little genius, after years of hard work on the field has finally decided to quit international football. Many of his former and current teammates and Indian soccer lovers have gone on record saying they just never wished to see him retire.

That's love, appreciations and regards for Chhetri, the soccer icon, the never say no Indian footballer. Even several sports persons from other fields, have extended their appreciations for Chhetri's contributions to the game.

India star batter Virat Kohli feels 'proud' of Chhetri's decision to retire from the international career after the FIFA World Cup 2026 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6.

On Thursday, Chhetri took to social media, announcing his decision to bid adieu to the Indian football team following a stunning career of representing Blue Tigers for 19 years.

Commenting on the striker's Instagram post, Kohli wrote, "My brother (with a heart emoji). Proud."

The 39-year-old striker is one of the most decorated footballers that the country has ever produced. He has also been an inspirational figure for the budding athletes in the country. In 145 matches for India, he netted 94 goals, the most for the country. Ex-India captain Bhaichung Bhutia is second on the list with 42 goals to his name.

Among the active football players across the globe, the Indian captain is the third-highest goal-scorer, only behind two mega stars - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (128 goals) and Argentina's Lionel Messi (106 goals).

The official X handle of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the governing body of the sport in the country, also wished Chhetri for his sparkling tenure with the side.

"Your legacy on and off-the-field will always be remembered! You have always been and will continue to inspire us. Thank you @chetrisunil11 for your leadership, dedication and commitment to Indian football. Captain. Leader. Legend," the AIFF posted on X.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) termed Chhetri's career as 'extraordinary' for the nation.

"Your career has been nothing short of extraordinary and you have been a phenomenal icon for Indian football and Indian sports. Go well, Captain!," BCCI wrote on X.

Chhetri's Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Bengaluru FC and Kohli's Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bengaluru shared wishes for the ace forward.

"The phases, the faces, the eras and battles - he’s been the one constant through it all. He’s going to do it one last time, and we can never be grateful enough for the giant that walked amongst men," Bengaluru FC wrote on X.

"India Football captain Sunil Chhetri to retire on June 6. What a ride this has been, skipper! 94 international goals, so many laurels, an unbroken conviction and you’ve inspired so many young Indians to dream big. Happy farewell to the No.11 but India’s #1, Sunil Chhetri," RCB posted on X.

Sunil Chhetri is hard to replace. But he too is human and has to take a break. Soccer fans and football lovers can only wish Chhetri all the best for his rest of life. (With IANS support)

    Tags
  • Virat Kohli
  • All India Football Federation (AIFF)
  • Sunil Chhetri

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