‘Retiring as a legend,’ FIFA pays tribute to Chhetri as sporting fraternity joins in salute

New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) Football’s world governing body FIFA led the outpouring of tributes that came in from different quarters following talismanic Indian captain Sunil Chhetri’s decision to retire from international football.

Chhetri, the long-serving national team captain announced his decision to call it a day after the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6.

“Retiring as a legend,” captioned FIFA World Cup in its ‘X’ handle to a graphic-generated photo of Chhetri sharing the podium with world football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the three leading active international goalscorers.

Ronaldo (128 goals) is seen on the top of the podium, while Messi (106) and Chhetri (94) takes the next two spots.

FIFA had earlier in 2022 released a documentary on the long-serving Indian captain, titled ‘Captain Fantastic’; it had three parts — kick off, mid-game and extra time.

Batting maestro Virat Kohli, 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh and former star footballer Bhaichung Bhutia were among the leading sports personalities who lauded Chhetri’s achievements.

Commenting on Chhetri’s video post on Instagram, Kohli wrote for his good friend: “My brother. Proud.” Yuvraj called him a legend, saying the legacy of the 39-year-old veteran of 150 national appearances will remain for a very long time.

“A real legend of the game who took Indian football onto the global stage. Your passion has inspired a generation to take up the game… your legacy in Indian sports will be remembered forever…you can look back with pride as you get set for your final game, thank you legend,” wrote Yuvraj in an Instagram story.

Chhetri, who made his international debut in 2005, has scored 94 goals for the country. He will leave the scene as India’s all-time top scorer and most-capped player.

Legendary India forward Bhutia, who Chhetri succeeded as captain, told

Source: PTI News


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