Sunil Chhetri, the most admired and well-received footballer in India as of now, is the current captain of the Indian National football team. He is also the all-time top goal scorer for the team. He plays as a striker with the jersey number 11 for the Indian National Team and Bengaluru FC in Indian Super League (ISL). His international career began in the year 2007 and since then this 5 ft 7-inch soccer fireball has been making the nation proud.

His teammates call him “Bhai” lovingly since his remarkable entry into mainstream football in 2002. He is 33 years old now and comes with bountiful experience that benefits both the Indian National Team and the ISL side to defeat their opposition teams. Listed below are the 5 facts that you didn’t know about Sunil Chettri:

Super Fact #1

Sunil Chhetri was born in Secunderabad (Telangana) on August 3, 1984, to Nepalese origin footballer parents. His father Kharga Chettri was an officer in the Electronics and Mechanical Engineers Corps and played for the Indian Army’s soccer team.

While his mother Sushila Chettri and her twin sisters played for the Nepal women’s national soccer team. Thus Chhetri was unveiled to the sport from childhood. Although born in Secunderabad, he calls New Delhi to be his hometown. The perks of being an army child, he lived in Gangtok, Kolkata, Darjeeling and New Delhi.

Super Fact #2

Image: Football India

Chhetri’s schooling was at Bahai School in Gangtok. After that, he relocated to New Delhi where he studied at Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan. After schooling, he joined the Ashutosh College in Kolkata where he completed his class 12. After class 12, he quit studies since he landed on the opportunity to represent India at the Asian School Championships in Malaysia in October 2001.

Super Fact #3

sunil chhetri playing for india
Image: Times of India

Chhetri is a footballer with a forward to boot and is the first Indian footballer to score 50 international goals while playing for the national soccer team. He played for the national team for the first time on June 12, 2005, against Pakistan where he scored his maiden goal. During the 2018 World Cup Qualifying match, he scored his 50th goal against Guam. As of 11 October 2017, Sunil Chhetri has scored 56 goals which make him the top goal scorer for the team. On March 30, 2004, Chhetri played his first game for the Indian U-20 team. Then on April 3, 2004, Chhetri scored 2 goals against Bhutan U-23 team. His team won the match 4-1.

Super Fact #4

Sunil Chhetri with the fans

Chhetri has won the renowned, All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year four times in the year 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014 for his exemplary form and achievements for his club and country. In 2007, he was the top scorer for India in the Nehru Cup and led the team to the victory with 4 goals. In 2011, he scored 11 goals in 20 Club appearances and 13 goals in 17 international matches. In the same year, he was also awarded the Arjuna Award for his outstanding achievement in National Sports. In 2013, he reached the mark of 43 goals for the country. He had won the I–League crown while playing for the Churchill Brothers. On 19th of July, 2013, he joined the amazing Bengaluru FC. In 2014, he had scored 14 goals in I–League season. He had gone past the fabulous I M Vijayan who had won the award 3 times in 1992, 1997 and 2000.

Super Fact #5

sunil chhetri india

Sunil Chettri was a part of the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer (MLS). On 14th of April, 2010 Chhetri made his debut for the Wizards in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualification game against the Colorado Rapids in which he got a yellow card and sat out of the game. His team had lost the match 1goal against 2 goals. He then became the third Indian to play outside of South Asia and the first Indian to play in MLS. Then on 25 July 2010, Chhetri played for the Wizards against the magnificent, Manchester United as a substitute for Teal Bunbury in the 69th minute as the Wizards won the match 2 goals against 1 goal. On 5th of February, 2011 Chhetri had officially left the Wizards team. His coach at Kansas City team quoted, “One thing we really like about Sunil is that he’s a crafty player. Technically he’s very sharp, and he’s a guy that has good attacking tendencies.”

Read: To Bengaluru FC, With Love….. Your Die-Hard Fans!

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