Sunil Chhetri said – I am on the ‘peak of form’, it will be great to play Asian Cup on home soil

Sunil Chhetri said - I am on the 'peak of form', it will be great to play Asian Cup on home soil

Kolkata. Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri said the team would love to play the AFC Asia Cup on home soil and the star player admitted that he is at the “peak of form” at the age of 37. The Indian national football team qualified for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Finals after beating Hong Kong 4-0 on Tuesday night and the Salt Lake Stadium was full for the match.

Impressed by the presence of so many spectators in the final qualifying match despite heavy rain, Chhetri expressed his desire to play the finals in India. India qualified for the Asian Cup for the second time in a row for the first time in history. He said, ‘The kind of form we are in, we would love to play on the home ground. Looking at the way the spectators are coming to watch the match and supporting us, it will be great to play here.

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The Asian Cup Finals was to be held in China next year, but in view of the Kovid-19 situation in the country, it had decided to withdraw from hosting. India registered a resounding win over Hong Kong in Group D after winning over Cambodia and Afghanistan in the third round qualifiers of the Asian Cup. All matches were played at the Salt Lake Stadium, where India were playing after more than two years.

Sunil Chhetri praised the youth emerging in the national team after the end of the three match campaign. He said, ‘Kids are wonderful, they will probably kill me (laughs) for saying kids, boys are awesome. We have the right combination of senior and junior players in our dressing room.

Chhetri said, ‘Akash Mishra and Roshan Singh are fantastic along with Liston Colaso ​​and Suresh Wangjam in the team.’ He said, ‘Yes, a lot of young players are coming and Ishaan Pandita is brilliant in training and you saw his performance today. Ishaan and Sahal (Abdul Samad) are two players who deserve such performances.

Chhetri scored the second goal in the match while Anwar Ali, Manveer Singh and Ishan Pandita also got their names written in the scoresheet. Chhetri is set to play in the finals of his third Asian Cup tournament after 2011 and 2019. He is 37 years old but this striker feels that he is at the peak of his form now.

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He said, ‘Now I am reaching the peak of form. The last Asian Cup is over. We want to work hard. It doesn’t matter whether I will play in the next big tournament or someone else will get a chance but India should be in the Asian Cup. I have already said this.’

The charismatic striker said, “As a country it is very important for us to stay in the Asian Cup so that we keep fighting shoulder to shoulder with the best players in India which doesn’t happen very often. This will give us opportunities to play friendly matches with better ranked rivals to prepare for the tournament.

Tags: AFC, Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers, Football, Sports news, Sunil chhetri

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