Sunil Chhetri

Why Was Sunil Chhetri Much Better than Ronaldo and Messi in the World of Football?

Sunil Chhetri: A better football than Ronaldo and Messi? A look at his skills, abilities, achievements, and international stats

The Indian footballing magnum Sunil Chhetri has announced his retirement from the sport that he often single-handedly endorsed in the country’s young generation. The 39-year-old has decided to hang his boots finally. The forward will reportedly play his last game at the highest level on June 06, 2024 against Asian neighbour Kuwait, which will be a fixture underneath the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for 2026.

Over the years, Chhetri has often been hailed as a better overall football player than the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo and the Argentine veteran Lionel Messi by a certain section of the fans. It is worth mentioning that the Indian captain follows CR7, and Leo very closely on the list of top international goal-scorers.

While Ronaldo has most international goals as of now in the form of his 128 goals for Portugal, Messi sits behind him with 106 goals to his name. On the other hand, the Indian number 11, Sunil Chhetri, has 94 international goals to his tally for his country at the highest level and sits behind Leo on the list of all-time top international scorers as of now.

Talking about his skills and abilities, the 39-year-old is not only well equipped in finishing the chances in front of the goal, but also has a terrific sense of match awareness and holds the sheer ability of linking up the play during crucial junctures of a game. Despite not being that sleek when it comes to his overall build-up and height, Sunil Chhetri is equally potent in the air when it comes to effective headers on the ball.

The Indian forward has also played for the country at the under-23, and under-20 levels before going onto represent the senior side. Another reason that could pop up while comparing his game with those of Messi and Ronaldo is that Sunil doesn’t always had the pleasure of having very highly rated players around him and providing him tons and tons of good final deliveries, which players like CR7, and Leo have often got in their career.

So, to be able to score a high quotient of goals for a Indian team that’s often looking to get things right on the international stage stands out in itself as a massive achievement. Suni Chhetri has won the prestigious honor of All India Football Federation Player of the Year for a stellar sum of seven times in his career till now. When it comes to other heritage awards, he was greeted with Arjuna Award and Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna honor in years 2011, and 2021 respectively.

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