Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri on Thursday said that his career “is going to end soon” but at the same time, also asserted that he is “not going anywhere for the next few years.”
Sunil Chhetri made his India debut in 2005 against Pakistan in Quetta and has scored 79 goals since then (Twitter Photo)
- Sunil Chhetri recently made history by going past Pele’s tally (77) of international goals
- Chhetri has played in a record 124 matches for India in his 16-year-long career
- Chhetri has been Indian football’s poster boy since the retirement of former captain Bhaiching Bhutia in 2011
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri says he still has a few years left in him as a player while reflecting on his celebrated career which started in 2002 and is still going strong.
Sunil Chhetri recently made history by going past Pele’s tally of international goals by scoring twice in India’s 3-1 win over Maldives in the 2011 SAFF Championship semi-final on Wednesday. With 79 goals for India, Chhetri is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (115) and Lionel Messi (80) on the list of active players.
The 37-year-old, who made his India debut in 2005, turned philosophical while dissecting his approach towards the game in what is clearly the final leg of his glorious career.
Chhetri said “it’s a fact that it (his career) is going to end soon” and tells himself to enjoy every moment of it.
“Now I have got a very simple mantra. Dost khade ho ja, bahut kam time bhacha hey, bahut kam game bache huwe hey, chup chaap ja aur apna best de. Thoda time pe khatam hone wala hey (I tell myself that there is very little time left, there are very few games left, go quietly and give your best. It is going to end in some time),” he added when asked how he picks himself up amid the ups and downs during his illustrious career.
“Stop crying, stop rejoicing stop over-celebrating, stop putting yourself down because all these will end very soon. Right now I will pick up myself, go there and try to give my best because I know it’s a fact that it’s going to end soon.”
But in the same breathe, he made it clear that the inevitable won’t happen for the next few years.
“SC11 is not going anywhere for next few years. So just relax.
Chhetri has played in a record 124 matches for India in his 16-year-long career. He has been Indian football’s poster boy since the retirement of former captain Bhaiching Bhutia in 2011.
“Gaali khata hun, ya log tarif karte heyEverything I try to forget, I go there and try to do my best. Missing, I will miss goals, scoring I will score goals but all this we will talk once I am done.
“Because I don’t want to regret that I could have done this and that. I want to do everything now.” (With PTI inputs)
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