Football

Chhetri goes down memory lane

Sunil Chhetri.   | Photo Credit: File photo: K. Murali Kumar

Indian football star Sunil Chhetri picked his AFC Asian Cup qualifier strike against Myanmar in 2017 as his favourite international goal.

Chhetri reminisced about the last-minute match-winner at Yangon in a video chat on the Indian Football Team’s official Facebook page to celebrate his 15-year journey in international football.

Crucial goal

Chhetri latched on to a pass from substitute Udanta Singh, who cut the ball back after making a terrific run on the flank. The three points earned from the goal proved crucial, as it set India on the path to earning a spot in the main draw of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

“Credit goes to Udanta for setting it up. That goal gave us the confidence to do well in the group matches that followed,” Chhetri said.

The Bengaluru FC (BFC) skipper pointed to Krishanu Dey and I.M. Vijayan as his childhood footballing heroes. He added that in later years, he looked up to Bhaichung Bhutia and Brazilian ‘The Phenomenon’ Ronaldo.

Praises seniors

Chhetri was all praise for the impact that seniors like Bhutia and Renedy Singh had on him during his early years.

“I joined Mohun Bagan in 2002 (first professional club contract), and Bhutia had moved to Bagan that season.

“The first time I met Bhutia, he told me that he had heard about me and that I was doing well for myself. I was so proud that a legend like Bhutia had heard about me; I told everyone in my family,” Chhetri said.

On racism

On the raging topic of racism, the 35-year-old said: “Discrimination and racism is the result of ignorance. How can anyone feel superior to another person based on skin colour, caste, religion or country of birth?

“It doesn’t make any sense. It is high time that humans evolve and rise above discrimination.”

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 10:57:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/chhetri-goes-down-memory-lane/article31806831.ece

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