Bhubaneswar: As far as international standards are concerned, India feature at the bottom of the table in rankings. However, forward Sunil Chhetri’s deeds have certainly attracted the attention of world football aficionados towards the India football team. Sunil Chhetri added another cap to his already illustrious career during India’s game against Bangladesh.
The Blue Tigers defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in a match of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers and Asian Championship Qualifiers played Monday at Doha. Both the goals were scored by skipper Sunil Chhetri. In the process the Bengaluru FC player took his international tally to 74 goals for India and surpassed the legendary Lionel Messi. Incidentally, the Argentine has so far scored 72 goals for his country.
This is what Sunil Chhetri had to say after his feat, see video:
Chhetri now is second in the list of top scorers for the respective countries with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo heading the table with 103 goals to his credit. Third in the list is UAE’s Ali Mabkhout list with 73 goals.
Even though Chhetri has a long way to catch up with Ronaldo, his feat is no doubt hugely laudable. All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel took to Twitter to congratulate Chhetri.
“Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals. A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future (sic),” Patel wrote.
Chhetri got the first goal of the game with a well-timed powerful header and it took him past Messi. His second was an injury-time strike, as he curled home a finish from inside the penalty area.
Chhetri on the other hand, underplayed his feat and said that he was indeed happy, India had managed to keep a ‘clean sheet’ (not concede a goal) against Bangladesh.