Guwahati: Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri turned 36 on Monday and wishes have been pouring in for the Indian star from all quarters. Social media was overflowing with birthday wishes for the ‘Captain Fantastic’.
Chhetri is the most capped player for India with 115 match appearances, surpassing previous captain Bhaichung Bhutia who made 107 appearances. With 72 goals, Chhetri is also the all-time top goal scorer for India. He currently also holds the distinction of having the second-highest number of International goals among the active players.
On his way to this extraordinary milestone, he has gone past the all-time legend Lionel Messi during the 2019 Intercontinental Cup opener against Tajikistan. Chhetri now sits behind Cristiano Ronaldo who tops the list with 149 international goals. Lionel Messi sits 3rd in the list with 68 international goals.
Chhetri was also voted the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Favourite Footballer by Fans last week. The poll was conducted by Asian Football Confederation on their official Instagram handle as Indians flooded the profile to vote for their ‘Captain Fantastic’.
After 5,61,856 votes over 19 days, Chhetri beat Shomurodov by 51-49 percent votes and was declared as the favourite player of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. In 2018, on his 34th birthday, Chhetri was named an Asian Icon by the AFC.
Chhetri will next be in action for the Blue Tigers, as the Indian men’s national team is also known as, in the joint qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.