Male. India’s legendary footballer and national football team captain Sunil Chhetri is often asked questions about his retirement. Talking about his career on Thursday, 37-year-old Chhetri first said that “it is going to end soon” but at the same time clarified that he is not going anywhere for the next few years. Chhetri, who surpassed the legendary Pele to reach 79 in his international goal count against Male in the SAFF Championships on Wednesday, took a philosophical approach to his approach to the game.
“The truth is that it (his career) is going to end soon and I am enjoying every moment of it,” Chhetri said. When asked how Chhetri went through the ups and downs during his glittering career, he said, “I have a very simple mantra now. Stand up friend, very little time is left, very few games are left. Go quietly and give your best. (Everything) is going to end in a short time.
He said, ‘Stop shedding tears, jumping in joy, stop over-celebrating, stop being disheartened because it will all end soon. Right now I will try to give my best by going on the field because I know it is going to end soon. Along with this, Chhetri clarified that this will not happen in the next few years. “Sunil Chhetri is not going anywhere in the next few years. So be comfortable.’
This charismatic player is third in terms of goals scored among active footballers, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He said that he prefers to keep himself away from outside things as there are not many matches left in his career. Chhetri made his India debut against Pakistan in Quetta in 2005. He has played 124 matches for India so far in his career of 16 years.
He said, ‘I abuse or praise people, I try to forget everything. I try to give my best when I get on the field. Asked about Pele’s record breaking, Chhetri said, “Anyone who knows football understands that there is no comparison (with Pele). I am happy that I am playing and scoring goals for my country. That’s all I want.’
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