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‘Happy Retirement, legend!’ – Cricket fraternity congratulates Sunil Chhetri after he announces international retirement

'Happy Retirement, legend!' - Cricket fraternity congratulates Sunil Chhetri after he announces international retirement

Sunil Chetri and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Sunil Chhetri, who has been Indian football’s flagbearer for close to two decades, recently revealed that the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6 will be his last international game. The cricket fraternity wholeheartedly thanked the legendary footballer for his contributions to the Indian football team.

Chhetri shares a great relationship with the Indian cricketers, especially Virat Kohli. The two icons of Indian sports have been spotted together on several occasions and their friendship has warmed the hearts of the fans. While Chhetri has been playing for Bengaluru FC for several years, Kohli has done the same for Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). The former India and RCB captain commented on his long-time friend’s post and wrote: “My brother [heart emoji]. PROUD.”

On Thursday, May 16, Chhetri shared a video on his official social media handles to announce his retirement plan.

I’d like to say something…

— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) May 16, 2024

Also Read: ‘Once I am done, you won’t see me for a while’ – Virat Kohli reveals plans after retirement

Chhetri, who is going to turn 40 in August, has played for historic Indian teams like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. In 2004, he made his debut for the India U20 team. He made his senior India debut on June 12, 2005, in a match against Pakistan and netted his first international goal. Meanwhile, his first international tournament was the 2007 Nehru Cup. The Blue Tigers went on to win the tournament by beating Syria in the final.

Chhetri currently has the third most international goals (94 in 150 matches) among the active footballers in the world. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (128 in 205 matches) and Lionel Messi (106 in 180 matches) have more goals than the Secunderabad-born.

Chhetri’s illustrious career saw him winning the AIFF Player of the Year award on six occasions, besides receiving the Arjuna Award (2011) and the Padma Shri (2019). On the international stage, Chhetri has been part of the title-winning Indian teams in the AFC Challenge Cup (2008), the SAFF Championship (2011 and 2015), the Nehru Cup (2007, 2009, and 2012), as well as the Intercontinental Cup (2017 and 2018).

Also Read: ‘That will definitely attract the community’ – Venu Pisike reflects on upcoming T20 World Cup, LA Olympics

Here’s a look at how the cricket fraternity saluted the iconic footballer on a spectacular career:

Your career has been nothing short of extraordinary and you have been a phenomenal icon for Indian football and Indian sports. Go well, Captain! #TeamIndia

— BCCI (@BCCI) May 16, 2024

What a run you have had! 👏
Congratulations on an amazing career @chetrisunil11 ✨

Happy Retirement, legend 🫡

— Yuzvendra Chahal (@yuzi_chahal) May 16, 2024

India Football captain Sunil Chhetri to retire on June 6. 🥺

What a ride this has been, skipper! 94 international goals, so many laurels, an unbroken conviction and you’ve inspired so many young Indians to dream big. ⚽️🫡

Happy farewell to the No.11 but India’s #1,…

— Royal Challengers Bengaluru (@RCBTweets) May 16, 2024

19 years. 94 goals. One Legend. International football will miss you, Sunil Chhetri! 🫡🇮🇳

Kolkata will be there for your last dance on June 6! 💜

— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) May 16, 2024

Congratulations on a fantastic career Legend👏🏻
Wishing the best for you🤗♥️

— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) May 16, 2024

Captain Leader Legend. 🫡
Big whistles on the trailblazing career, @chetrisunil11 ! 👏🥳

— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 16, 2024

19 Years. 145 Games. 93 Goals and Millions of Hearts Won 🥹👑

Thank you for inspiring generations, Captain 💙🇮🇳#SunilChhetri #Retirement

— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) May 16, 2024

One Last Game. One Last Time. 🥹

Thank you for leading the Blue Tigers with pride and thank you for inspiring a generation. 🙏💙#MumbaiIndians #SunilChhetri

— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) May 16, 2024

Captain. Leader. Legend. Pioneer. 💙🇮🇳

Thank you isn’t enough, @chetrisunil11 🙏

— Lucknow Super Giants (@LucknowIPL) May 16, 2024

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