At the start of every Indian football season in recent years, one question always comes up: “Has Sunil Chhetri lost some of his mojo? Has he lost a step or two?” Once the action begins, the answer — a resounding ‘no’ — becomes all too apparent. Instead of giving up bits and pieces of his game to father’s time, Chhetri has gotten fitter, faster and more effective.
In a country where cricket is favoured over soccer, Chhetri was auctioned at Rs 1.2 crore for Mumbai City Football Club in ISL League, highest so far. With a goal card of 56 for India, Chhetri’s net worth was Rs 2.30 crore in 2017. Sunil Chhetri is the most valuable player in Indian football after Vijayan and Baichun Bhutia.
India captain Sunil Chhetri, 33, whose goal-getting ability and confidence on the pitch has become a benchmark for younger players trying to get into the Indian team, talked about his feelings on the eve of 100th international match. A marked man on the playing arena and hugely followed off it, he was worried about moulding younger teammates by personal example. A prolific scorer for India and at club level, he hoped a day would come when World Cup qualifiers from Asia would be more than willing to play against India frequently.
He carries many records on his shoulder. He was an enigma on the field and made his presence felt in the football team.
Sunil Chhetri is a team man whether he plays for Bengaluru FC or India. After being chosen the ‘Player-of-the-Year’ for the fifth time, the seasoned striker is not too excited about it. Chhetri made his 100th appearance in Mumbai and he made it memorable by scoring a brace and guiding India into the final following a 3-0 win. Chhetri looked for suport from football fans and the promise was well and truly accomplished in a most fitting manner.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)