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India’s Sunil Chhetri announces retirement from international football

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India’s star player Sunil Chhetri on Thursday announced to retirement from international football after the FIFA World Cup qualifier match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6.

Indian captain announced his decision to hang his boots through an emotional video on his social media accounts.

“You know, the feeling that I recollect in the last 19 years is a very nice combination of duty, pressure and immense joy,” Chhetri said in the video.

“I never thought individually these are the many games that I played for the country. This is what I’ve done, good or bad. But now I did it. This last one and a half, two months I did it.

“I did it because probably I was going towards the decision that this game (against Kuwait), this next game is going to be my last. And the moment I told myself first that this is the game that’s going to be my last, was when I started recollecting everything. It was so strange.”

Sunil Chhetri has represented India in 150 matches since making his debut in 2005 against Pakistan, where he scored his first international goal.

He is the fourth all-time top goal-scorer in international football with 94 goals. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with 128 goals, followed by Iran’s Ali Daei (108) and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (106).

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Chhetri was a crucial part of the Indian national football team’s success, contributing to their victories in the Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009, and 2012, as well as the SAFF Championship in 2011, 2015, and 2021.

He also contributed to India’s triumphant 2008 AFC Challenge Cup campaign, a victory that secured their qualification for the AFC Asian Cup in 2011 after a 27-year absence from the prestigious tournament.

Additionally, he has been at the helm of the Indian men’s national team as captain since 2012.

READ: FIFA considers allowing La Liga, Premier League games in foreign countries

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