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Sunil Chhetri Set for Historic 150th International Cap, To Be Honored by AIFF

Indian football icon Sunil Chhetri is on the brink of etching his name in the annals of history as he prepares to step onto the field for his 150th international appearance for the Blue Tigers. With nearly two decades of illustrious service to Indian football, Chhetri’s journey from his debut against Pakistan to becoming the linchpin of the national team is a testament to his unparalleled dedication and skill. As he prepares to step onto the field for this historic match against Afghanistan in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is all set to honour him in a befitting manner.

Sunil Chhetri’s Remarkable Journey

Sunil Chhetri’s journey in international football began on June 12, 2005, when he first donned the senior national jersey in a friendly match against Pakistan. Since then, Chhetri has been a pivotal figure for the Indian national team, showcasing his scoring prowess and leadership skills on numerous occasions. His debut match, where he found the back of the net, marked the beginning of a remarkable career that has seen him amass an impressive tally of 93 goals in 149 appearances.

Prolific Goal-Getter and Record Holder

Chhetri’s legacy as a prolific goal-getter is unparalleled in Indian football history. The 39-year-old holds the unique record of scoring in significant milestones of his career, including his first, 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th, and 125th international matches for the Blue Tigers. This consistency and ability to deliver on crucial occasions have solidified his status as one of the greatest footballers to have graced Indian soil.

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AIFF’s Recognition and Felicitation

The AIFF has announced plans to honour Sunil Chhetri on the sidelines of the World Cup qualifier against Afghanistan in Guwahati. Kalyan Chaubey, the President of AIFF, lauded Chhetri’s extraordinary accomplishment, stating, “Chhetri playing his 150th international match is an extraordinary accomplishment that will go a long way in keeping the Indian football flag flying high.” The federation acknowledges Chhetri’s role as a motivator and influencer who has inspired millions of aspiring footballers across the nation.

Tributes from AIFF Officials

AIFF Acting Secretary General M Satyanarayan hailed Chhetri as the “synonym of Indian football,” acknowledging his impact on the sport and expressing hope for his continued service to Indian football. “He is a fabulous footballer, a cool captain, and a star striker,” remarked Satyanarayan, emphasizing Chhetri’s multifaceted contributions to the team’s success.

Chhetri’s Influence and Legacy

Beyond his on-field exploits, Sunil Chhetri’s influence extends far and wide, transcending the realms of sport. He has been a source of inspiration for aspiring footballers across the country, motivating them to pursue their dreams with dedication and passion. Chhetri’s journey serves as a beacon of hope and resilience, showcasing the transformative power of sports in shaping lives and uniting communities.

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As Sunil Chhetri prepares to add another chapter to his illustrious career, the Indian national team finds itself at a crucial juncture in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. With aspirations of progressing further in the tournament, Chhetri and his teammates are determined to put forth their best performance against Afghanistan. The match holds significance not only for Chhetri’s milestone but also for India’s ambitions on the international stage.

FAQs

  1. How many international matches has Sunil Chhetri played?

    Sunil Chhetri has played 149 international matches for the Indian national team as of now. He is set to appear in his 150th international match soon.

  2. How many goals has Sunil Chhetri scored in international matches?

    Sunil Chhetri has scored a remarkable 93 goals in international matches for India, making him the highest goal scorer in the history of Indian football.

  3. When did Sunil Chhetri make his debut for the Indian national team?

    Sunil Chhetri made his debut for the Indian national team on June 12, 2005, in a friendly match against Pakistan.

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