(Last Updated on : 04/03/2016)
Sunil Chhetri is a Nepali-Indian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bengaluru
FC in the I-League
. Sunil Chhetri is one of the most successful and popular professional footballers of India
. He is the captain of Indian football team and highest scorer for India of all time. He has scored 50 goals in 88 appearances for the senior national team
Early Life of Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri was born in Secunderabad, Telangana
. He was born on 3rd August, 1984. His parents are basically of Nepals origin. His talent about football comes with no surprise as love for football is present in his blood. Chhetri was born to parents KB Chhetri and Sushila Chhetri, both of whom are Nepalese. Both parents where were also footballers, his father played for the Indian Army's team, while his mother and his twin sister Sasha and Sunanda were members of the Nepal women's national team. At the age of 17 years he began his Club Football career with the Delhi
based City Club in the year 2001.
Club Career of Sunil Chhetri
Chhetri had started his career in football with City FC in New Delhi. After that he had joined Mohun Bagan FC
. For Mohun Bagan he had scored four goals in his first season. In the second season, Sunil had scored only two goals. After some years with Mohun Bagan, Sunil Chhetri had joined JCT in the year 2005. In the season 2005-06, he had scored three goals. During the 2006–07 season, Chhetri scored a total of eleven goals in the league for JCT as the club finished in second place, behind Dempo
. Then, during the very first season of the I-League, Chhetri scored seven goals as JCT finished the season in third place. His only brace that season came against Salgaocar
during the final match of the season.
In the year 2008, Sunil had signed a deal with East Bengal
and had scored his first goal in his debut match against Chirag United. Chhetri then went on to score a crucial goal for East Bengal during the Federation Cup
in which he scored the only goal against his former club, JCT Mills, which led to East Bengal booking a place in the semi-finals.
After East Bengal club had released him, he had joined Dempo in the year 2009.
In the year 2011, Sunil signed another deal with Chirag United to play till the end of that season. In the next season, it was announced that his former club Mohun Bagan has signed another deal with him for a year.
In the year 2012, Sunil had signed a deal with The Portugese club Sporting Clube de Portugal but because he needed some extra game time, he was loaned out to Churchill Brothers in the I-League.
In the year 2013, after he was released from the Portugal side, he signed a deal with Bangaluru FC. With 14 goals and 7 assist in 23 appearances in the season, Chhetri led Bengaluru FC to their first ever I-League title in its debut season. In the following season, Chhetri scored his 6th goal of the Federation Cup in the final, thus helping them win the tournament.
Sunil Chhetri in ISL
had bought Sunil Chhetri for Rs. 1.2 crores, making him the most expensive Indian player in Indian Super League
. He missed his team's first and second round matches in the 2015 season through national team commitments, playing against Turkmenistan and Oman in Group D of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but returned against Chennaiyin
in a 2-0 loss. Chhetri made history, becoming the first Indian player to score a hat-trick, in his fourth game of the season, against NorthEast United
and taking his total of the season to 6 goals in 4 games.
National & International Career of Sunil Chhetri
Apart from Club Football, the 5ft 7inches tall Sunil has played for Delhi Football team in 8 tournaments, and has also been a part of the Indian Railway
squad that played in Col. Murray Cup. Chetri has represented the Indian National Football team both at Junior and Senior levels. In the year 2007, Sunil was named the Best Player of the 11th National Football League. He managed to score a total number of 12 goals in the League.
Sunil Chetri has delivered promising performance at the International Level too, in a number of tournaments and trophies. He scored 2 goals in a match against Cambodia in the year 2007, and scored a hat trick in a match against Tajikistan in the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 which is said to be one of his best performances. The victory guaranteed India a direct entry to the Final Rounds of the tournament to be held in Doha, Qatar. He has been a part of the Indian Football team that won the ONGC Nehru Gold Cup tournament in the year 2007, and the AFC Challenge Cup tournament in the year 2008. The 2008 SAFF Championship started with three victories out of a possible three in the group stages. In the opening game, Chhetri scored a goal in a 4-0 victory over Nepal. He scored once more in the championship in the 2-1 semi-final victory over Bhutan. India lost 1-0 to the Maldives in the final and Chhetri played for the full 90 minutes
Overseas Clubs in Which Chhetri Played
Sunils outstanding performance has generated interest in various foreign Football clubs such as Estoril Praia of Portuguese Second Division, Liga de Honra and Leeds United belonging to the English League One. Chhetri went to England on 26th of January 2009 to begin a trial with the Coventry City Football Club, also known as Sky Blues, situated in Coventry, England. Unfortunately, Sunil couldnt get through the Coventry Citys strict yardsticks and wasnt able to impress the club to offer him a contract. Chris Coleman, the boss of Coventry City made an announcement on the 29th of January of 2009 that the Sunil was not selected in the trials, although Chhetri said he was not disheartened by the rejection as he might keep looking for other options as well. As a honor of his excellent performance and contribution to the game of Football, NDTV
named him the Indian Player of the year 2007.
Individual Achievements of Sunil Chhetri
AIFF Player of the Year (2): 2007, 2011
AFC Challenge Cup Most Valuable Player (1): 2008
SAFF Championship Top Scorer (1): 2011
SAFF Championship Player of the Tournament (1): 2011
Nehru Cup Top Scorer (1): 2012