Sunil Chhetri Retirement

Why Did Sunil Chhetri Announce Retirement Despite Performing Better for the Indian Football Team?

Sunil Chhetri Retirement: India’s most celebrated modern-day footballer, Sunil Chhetri, announced that he will retire from international football next month. Sunil Chhetri retirement date will be 6th June, as he’ll play his last game against Kuwait in FIFA World Cup qualification. Following his decision to retire, the most important question making rounds across all social media platforms is: why did Sunil Chhetri announce his retirement despite performing so well for the Indian football team? Let’s have a look at the reasons behind Sunil Chhetri Retirement.

Sunil Chhetri announces retirement

Sunil Chhetri shared a nine-and-a-half-minute video on his social media platforms to announce his retirement from international football. While talking about many things, the 39-year-old revealed the main reason behind his retirement decision. An emotional Chhetri said that it was his instinct that guided him to make this choice. He further mentioned that he took this step while reminiscing about the significant events in his footballing career. Among many other things, the Indian football icon said: “I did this because probably I was going towards this decision that this game, this next game is going to be my last.

And the moment I told myself this first, that yes, this is the game that is going to be my last, is when I started recollecting all the memories of the past……”

He further added: “Everything came, all the flashes arrived. So then I decided that this is it. This will be my last.” 

Chhetri also revealed that he made this decision based on his feelings and instincts, stating that he was not too tired to continue playing at international level. He will play his last international game at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata against Kuwait in a FIFA World Cup qualifier. It should be remembered that Chhetri started his senior football career with Mohun Bagan Athletic Club in the City of Joy, where he will now hang up his boots and bid farewell to the Indian football fans.

Sunil Chhetri’s International Career

Sunil Chhetri Retirement
Sunil Chhetri celebrates India’s win (Credit: Twitter)

The Indian forward started his international journey in 2004 when he featured in India’s 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the South Asian Games. In 2007, he announced his arrival at the world stage in fashion by scoring two goals in his debut game against Cambodia in the Nehru Cup, guiding India to 6-0 victory. He has made 150 appearances for the Blues to date, netting 94 goals in a career that has spanned just over 19 years. Chhetri has led India to SAFF Championship victories four times (2011, 2015, 2021 and 2023), and also won the AFC Challenge Cup trophy in 2008.

The Indian football talisman recorded his name in the history book of international football after sharing the stage of achievements alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He currently holds the 4th rank on the all-time top scorers tally in international football, an achievement that motivates all young Indian footballers. For his illustrious career and contributions in the success of Indian football, he was awarded the Padma Shri in 2019, which was followed by the Khel Ratna Award in 2021.

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