Sunil Chhetri is a name that resonates with football enthusiasts across India. Born on August 3rd, 1984, in Secunderabad, India, Chhetri has become the face of Indian football. From his early days playing on the streets to leading the Indian national team, his journey is a true inspiration.

Chhetri began his football journey in a small neighborhood in Delhi. Despite the limited opportunities and resources, his talent shone through. He caught the attention of scouts and joined the prestigious Tata Football Academy at the age of 15. This marked the beginning of his professional career.

Sunil Chhetri playing at the Tata Football Academy

His breakthrough moment came in 2005 when he made his international debut for the Indian national team. Chhetri quickly established himself as a key player, showcasing his skill, speed, and versatility on the field. His ability to score goals earned him praise and recognition from fans and fellow players alike.

Chhetri’s leadership qualities were evident when he was appointed as the captain of the national team in 2010. Under his captaincy, India won the Nehru Cup in 2012, and he was named the AIFF Player of the Year a record six times.

Sunil Chhetri celebrating a goal for the Indian national team

Chhetri’s international goal-scoring prowess is truly remarkable. He surpassed Argentina’s Lionel Messi in 2018 to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer, only behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. His record-breaking goals have not only brought him individual accolades but have also elevated the status of Indian football on the global stage.

Chhetri has also had a successful club career. From playing for top Indian clubs like Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC to his stints in the United States and Portugal, Chhetri has showcased his talent across different countries. He has been instrumental in leading Bengaluru FC to numerous domestic titles, including the Indian Super League.

Sunil Chhetri lifting the Indian Super League trophy

Off the field, Chhetri has been actively involved in philanthropic work. He has used his platform to raise awareness about important issues such as child rights, education, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Chhetri’s impact extends beyond football, making him a role model for aspiring athletes in India.

Despite his success and recognition, Chhetri remains humble and grounded. He continues to push the boundaries and strives for excellence both on and off the field. His dedication and passion have inspired a new generation of footballers in India.