Advertisement
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri Says, 'Focused On Afghanistan' After Surpassing Lionel Messi

With a brace against Bangladesh, Chhetri surpassed Argentina's global superstar Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri Says, 'Focused On Afghanistan' After Surpassing Lionel Messi
Skipper Sunil Chhetri scored twice as India defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifier match in Doha on Monday. | File Photo
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri Says, 'Focused On Afghanistan' After Surpassing Lionel Messi
outlookindia.com
2021-06-08T17:42:38+05:30

Sunil Chhetri has never liked counting his goals and he prefers to keep it that way even after surpassing the great Lionel Messi as the second highest scorer in international football. (Match Highlights | More Football News)

The 36-year-old Chhetri achieved his 74th strike with his brace against against Bangladesh in the joint preliminary qualifying round match for 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup here on Monday night. Messi has 73 so far.

The skipper said he will get down to counting his goals probably 10 years down the line.

"I do not count the number of goals. 10 years later, we will sit together, have a chat and then count," the 36-year-old said.

The seasoned striker, who helped India register their first win in six years in World Cup qualifiers, now stands only behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorers' list.

Instead of his goals, Chhetri focussed on the many lessons his team will take home from Monday's game.

"We were guilty of missing a lot of chances. We could have done better. It has been a topsy-turvy qualifying campaign. Looking back, we understand that we could have done a lot better.

"We will talk about it but I am happy that we got three points," Chhetri said.

On Monday, Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 79th minute when he headed in Ashique Kuruniyan's cross from the left, and then sealed the victory by curling in a shot from long range in added time.

When queries veered towards his goals again, Chhetri brushed them aside as a thing of past for him now.

"You know what. All of this is past. We play Afghanistan, and we have to be at our best. It will be a new day, a new canvas. And it is up to us to paint it the manner we want to," he asserted.

The India captain is just a goal away from entering world football's all-time top-10.

He is behind Hungary's Sandor Kocsis, Japan's Kunishige Kamamoto, and Kuwait's Bashar Abdullah, who all have 75 goals.

"Congratulations to @chetrisunil11 for overtaking Messi to become 2nd highest active international Goal-scorer! I enjoyed his brilliant 2 goals against Bangladesh which secured a win for India and put him on to 74 international goals," tweeted sports minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement