Sunil Chhetri is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a striker or winger and captains both the Indian Super League side Bengaluru and the Indian national team.
Popularly known as Captain Fantastic, having scored the second-highest number of goals in international matches among active male players after Cristiano Ronaldo, he is both the most-capped player and all-time top goalscorer for the Indian national team, with 72 goals in 115 appearances. He is the current captain of the national team. Sunil Chhetri was named an ‘Asian Icon’ by AFC on his 34th birthday.
He plays as a striker for the Indian national team and Indian club Bengaluru FC. He is the most-capped player, and also the all-time top goalscorer for the India national team.
From a very young age, Chhetri started taking part in various football tournaments.
Chhetri began his professional career in 2002 at Mohun Bagan. He then represented JCT, Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.
He also represented Bengaluru FC from 2013 to 2015. During the 2015 Indian Super League, Chhetri was picked up by Mumbai City for Rs. 1.2 crores, making him the most expensive Indian player at the auctions.
In 2002, Chhetri started his club career with Mohun Bagan and after 3 years, he moved to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games, the most he has scored for any side in his career.
In 2010, he became the third player from the subcontinent to go abroad when he signed for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.
Before going back abroad, he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan. Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Primeira Liga signed Chhetri where he played for the club’s reserve side.
He also represented Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League.
Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year five times in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2017. With 56 goals in 97 appearances, he is also the all-time top goalscorer for the India national team, and also he is the most-capped player.
Other than the Arjuna award in 2011, he was also honored with FPAI Indian Player of the Year in 2009 and 2018, AFC Challenge Cup Most Valuable Player in 2008, SAFF Championship Player of the Tournament in 2011, Hero of the I-League for the 2016–17 season and the Hero of the Indian Super League for the 2017–18 season.
He signed for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer in 2010, becoming the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad. However, that stint in the United States did not last long and soon he was back in India’s I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad.
Chhetri was the second Indian footballer – after Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia – to play against Manchester United,
one of the most popular and richest football clubs in the world.