Indian charismatic footballer Sunil Chhetri reflected on his career stating “it will end soon” but added that he will not go anywhere for the next few years. The 37-year-old Indian football team captain turned philosophical while clarifying his approach to the game. He surpassed legendary Pele in international goalscoring numbers with his 79th attack in the ongoing SAFF Championship match against the Maldives.
Chhetri said, “It is a fact that (his career) will be over soon” and asks himself to enjoy every moment of it. Now I have a very simple mantra. Stand up friend, have a lot of work time, a lot of work is left to play, go quietly and give your best.” He also told how he got up amidst the ups and downs of his illustrious career.
“Stop crying, don’t cheer, don’t celebrate too much, don’t give up because it will all be over very soon. Right now I will get up, I will go there and I will try to give whatever I can because I know it is a fact that it will be over soon”. But, in the same breath, he specified that the next few years would not be inevitable. “SC11 is not going anywhere in the next few years. So relax,” he added.
The third-best international goalscorer among active players after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi said he prefers to stay away from outside noise as there are not many matches in his illustrious career now.
He made his international debut in 2005 against Pakistan in Quetta under head coach Sukhwinder Singh and continues to break all possible records in Indian football. He played a record 124 matches for India in his career spanning 16 years. He has been the poster boy of Indian football since the retirement of former captain Bhaiching Bhutia in 2011. Chhetri said his short-term goal is to help India qualify for China’s 2023 Asian Cup.
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