Sunil Chhetri : Unsung Hero

Sunil Chhetri recently completed his 19th season in professional football and here are 10 records held by the Bengaluru FC skipper , The current national team skipper Sunil Chhetri has had an excellent career for his club and country, notching up several interesting records. From scoring the most number of goals in international football for India to becoming the highest Indian goalscorers in the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL), the Bengaluru FC talisman have achieved all.

Let us take a look at the 10 records which are held by the Indian captain.

#1 Highest international goals by an Indian

Sunil Chhetri is the highest Indian goal scorer in international football with 74 goals in 117 international matches. The Indian striker is also the second-highest active goal scorer in world football after Cristiano Ronaldo (103).

#2 Most appearances for India

The Indian football team skipper has also appeared in the most number of international matches, 117 so far. Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia is a close second to Chhetri with 107 caps.

#3 Most hat-tricks for India

Along with most international caps and goals, Sunil Chhetri has also netted the most number of hat-tricks in international football, three. His first-ever hat-trick was against Tajikistan in the AFC Challenge Cup final in 2008 which India won 4-1. The second one came against Vietnam in an international friendly match which Indian won 3-1 and the last one was against Chinese Taipei in the Intercontinental Cup in 2018. India had won the tie 5-0.

#4 AIFF Player of the Year for a record six times

Since the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had started the Player of the Year Award in 1992, no player has ever won it more than Sunil Chhetri. The Bengaluru FC star has bagged the award six times. The other players to have won the award multiple times are IM Vijayan (3) and Jo Paul Ancheri and Bhaichung Bhutia (2).

#5 Highest Indian goal scorer in I-League

Sunil Chhetri is the all-time highest Indian goal scorer in National Football League (NFL)/I-League history with 90 goals. The striker has played for Mohun Bagan, JCT FC, Dempo SC, United Sports Club and Bengaluru FC. The second highest Indian scorer is Bhaichung Bhutia with 89 goals.

#6 Highest Indian goal scorer in ISL

Sunil Chhetri is the all-time highest Indian goal scorer in the Indian Super League (ISL) and the second highest goal scorer overall in the league’s history with 47 goals. Former Chennaiyin FC striker Jeje Lalpekhlua is the second highest Indian goal scorer with 24 goals in 76 matches.

#7 First Indian player to score hat-trick in ISL

Sunil Chhetri was the first-ever Indian player to score a hat-trick in the Indian Super League (ISL). He achieved the feat in 2015 while playing for Mumbai City FC. His first ISL hat-trick came against NorthEast United which the Islanders won 5-1.

#8 Most hat-tricks by an Indian in ISL

Sunil Chhetri has scored two hat-tricks in the Indian Super League (ISL) so far, most by an Indian player. His first hat-trick was against NorthEast United in 2015 and the second one was against FC Pune City which playing for Bengaluru FC during the 2017-18 season. The Blues had won the tie 3-1.

#9 Most goals by an Indian in AFC Competitions

Sunil Chhetri has scored a total of 19 goals in the AFC Cup and AFC Champions qualifiers, the most by an Indian player. He has appeared in 31 AFC Cup matches and two AFC Champions League (ACL) qualifying game for Churchill Brothers and Bengaluru FC.

#10 First Indian player to have played in three different continents

Sunil Chhetri is the only Indian player to play on three different continents – He has played in Asia, Europe (Sporting Club de Portugal) and North America (Kansas City Wizards). 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *