New Delhi: Talismanic Indian captain Sunil Chhetri was Tuesday named as the AIFF ‘Men’s Footballer of the Year’ for a record-extending sixth time.
The 34-year-old striker, who has been in peak form in the last couple of years, had earlier won the honour in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017. He currently plays for Bengaluru FC in the ISL.
Chhetri is currently the second highest international goalscorers among active players with 70 strikes to his name, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (149). He went past Lionel Messi (68), who is third in the list, during the 2019 Intercontinental Cup opener against Tajikistan. Chhetri is also the most capped player of the country with 109 matches, ahead of former captain Bhaichung Bhutia (107).
India midfielder Abdul Samad was named the AIFF ‘Emerging Men’s Player of the Year’.
Ace India international Ashalata Devi was named the AIFF ‘Women’s Footballer of the Year’ for 2018-19, while Dangmei Grace was adjudged the AIFF ‘Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year’ for the same period.
The ‘Best Grassroots Development Programme’ award went to Jammu and Kashmir Football Association while R Venkatesh of Tamil Nadu won the AIFF ‘Best Referee of the Year’ award.