When you think of Indian footballers, who do you think of first? For many fans of Indian football leagues and games, chances are, Sunil Chhetri’s name will be one that comes up time and time again – and for a good reason, too!
Indeed, there’s no doubt that few other Indian players have ever achieved quite the same monumental and staggering achievements as Chhetri has during his relatively short career. With this in mind, we’ve picked out our top five moments during Sunil Chhetri’s career, and we’re confident that these moments will resonate with fans of Indian football from around the world.
Top 5 Sunil Chhetri Career Records with Indian Football
Whether you’re an avid fan and follow every match, or if you ocassionally bet on football at Lottoland India and wanted to learn more about this star player for the Indian Football Team, there’s no doubt that Sunil Chhetri’s career and achievements will leave you in awe. And, while we can’t summarise every single one of these today – we’d be here for hours! – we’ve come up with a brief list
5. A Truly Worldwide Player
As far as Indian football players go, there’s no doubt that Sunil Chhetri is one of the most well-travelled – owing to the fact that he is the only Indian football player to ever get the chance to play from a professional perspective in three different continents: North America, Asia, and Europe.
4. AIFF Player of the Year – Six Times!
It’s always a big deal when your favourite player achieves a title such as the AIFF Player of the Year – but for fans of Sunil Chhetri (and let’s face it – that’s most people), this is even more pronounced! Indeed, Sunil Chhetri has achieved this award on six different occasions – which is not only an incredible achievement in itself but is also the highest number of awards of this kind for a single player, ever! In fact, his success is only rivalled by IM Vijayan (with three awards) and Jo Paul Ancheri/Bhaichung Bhutia (with two each).
3. Highest Number of Indian Hat-Tricks
Hat-tricks are hard to pull off, but this has never stopped the legend that is Sunil Chhetri. In fact, during his career, he has successfully pulled of hat-tricks against teams from Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, and Tajikstan, the latter of which was particularly notable as it resulted in the Indian team winning the AFC Challenge Cup!
2. The Highest Goal-Scorer for the Indian National Football Team
Coming in at second, few achievements can rival his biggest success on the pitch: indeed, Sunil Chhetri is the most prolific goal scorer for the Indian National Football team ever, with a total of 72 goals from 115 international appearances. Of these, many of his goals were crucial for the team’s success – propelling him to almost instant stardom within the world of Indian football and the global football world, too. In fact, the only other player in the world who has scored more goals is Cristiano Ronaldo, but only by a handful of achievements!
Of course, this sort of success is something that will surely attract attention from many other football teams – but for now, we’re so lucky to still have Sunil Chhetri with the national team, and we hope he’ll continue to stay around looking to the future as well.
1. Receiving the Khel Ratna Award
Sunil Chhetri has achieved so much during his relatively short career – and, on November 13th, 2021, this was rewarded when he received the Khel Ratna award. Indeed, the award was presented to this master of the pitch by President Kovind himself, and it was apparent just how much this meant to Chuttri, too.
The AIFF explained that his response to the award was, “I am thrilled, I am really thankful and honoured. I have always said that it is a dream that I have gone through, and it would not have been possible without my family, my friends, my wife, my close group, the teammates that I have had, and the coaches that I have played under.”
Truly, this was a moment that Chhetri and fans of Indian football alike will hold dear for a lifetime – and there’s surely no other Indian footballer who deserves the award quite as much as Chhetri. Alongside him, Pramod Bhagat, Mithali Raj, and Manpreet Singh also received awards for their achievements in para-badminton, cricket, and hockey, respectively.
There’s no doubt that Sunil Chhetri has achieved massive things during his career, and even those who don’t support Indian teams would surely be inclined to agree that his successes are massive for the Indian teams. The country is so lucky to have Sunil Chhetri on its side, for sure – and we hope to see ever greater successes for this legend of a football player as we continue looking to the future.