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Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri announces retirement, set to play final match for India on June 6

Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the Indian football team, declared on Wednesday that he will step down from the game following Kuwait's June 6 FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying match.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 16th 2024 10:30 AM
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri announces retirement, set to play final match for India on June 6

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri announces retirement, set to play final match for India on June 6

PTC News Desk: Legendary Indian football player Sunil Chhetri revealed on Thursday that he will be retiring from international football following the June 6 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Kolkata against Kuwait, capping off an incredible two-decade career. The veteran captain of the national team made his announcement in a video that he shared on social media. India is currently trailing leaders Qatar by four points in Group A.

Announcing his decision to retire, 39-year-old Chhetri stated, "The feel that I recollect in the last 19 years is a very nice combination of duty, pressure, and immense joy."


"I never considered that these are the games I've played for my country, and these are the things I've done well and poorly." However, throughout the past two and a half months, I have done so. It felt really weird," he remarked. "I did it because I was getting closer to the realization that this would be my final game."

"I just want to enjoy every training session I have with the national team. We must win the match against Kuwait in order to advance to the next round, so pressure is on us. It's quite significant to us.

He continued, "Yet strangely, I don't feel the pressure because this match against Kuwait is the last of my 15 to 20 days with the national team."

In March, Chhetri made his 150th appearance for India, scoring in a game against Afghanistan at Guwahati. However, India lost that match 1-2.

Since making his debut in 2005, Chhetri has netted 94 goals for his nation. As the all-time leading scorer and most-capped player in Indian history, he will depart the game. In terms of goals scored by active players, he is ranked third, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

- With inputs from agencies

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