End of an Era: Sunil Chhetri Bids Farewell to International Football

Sunil chhetri
Image Source: Business Today


Author: Hriday Verma

Published: May 16, 2024

Did you know India’s football hero, Sunil Chhetri, is saying goodbye to the game? It’s true! After scoring goals for us for years, he’s playing his last match for India. In this article, we’re going to share his amazing journey. From his first goal to his last game, we’ll tell you all about how he became a football legend. So, get ready to cheer for him one last time!

Birth, Parents, and Education

Sunil Chhetri was born on August 3, 1984, in Secunderabad, India. His parents have a strong background in sports; his father, KB Chhetri, is a retired officer from the EME Corps of the Indian Army,

For his education, Sunil attended Bahai School in Gangtok, Sikkim. Later, he went to Asutosh College in Kolkata for his higher studies. Sunil’s love for football started at a young age and his exceptional talent was apparent from the beginning.  He initiated his professional football journey with Mohun Bagan in 2002 and has since established himself as one of the most renowned footballers in India’s past.

Beginning of Football Career

Sunil Chhetri started playing football professionally in 2002 with Mohun Bagan. He was good at scoring goals, so he got noticed quickly. After playing there, he moved to another team, JCT Mills Football Club, in 2004.  That’s when more and more people started to see how talented he was. He kept getting better and scoring more goals, and soon he became famous as one of the best football players in India.

International Career

Sunil Chhetri’s journey in international football is nothing short of remarkable. He kicked off his career with the Indian national team in 2005, quickly becoming a key player thanks to his knack for finding the back of the net.  His consistent performance and leadership qualities led to him being named the captain of the Indian team, a role he took on with pride and dedication. Throughout his career, Chhetri has been known for his memorable goals that have often come at crucial moments.

One such highlight was his hat-trick against Pakistan in the SAFF Championship 2023, which not only showcased his skill but also his ability to rise to the occasion.  His goals have not just been numerous but also significant, helping India clinch victories in important tournaments and qualifiers. Chhetri has been very influential on the ground, and his leadership as a captain has been very motivational. It was also under his captaincy that the team experienced its most successful periods: the SAFF Championship and qualification for the AFC Asian Cup after a long hiatus.

He is one of the respected figures of Indian football by virtue of the fact that he can motivate his teammates and be a good example of a leader. As he heads off into the sunset, Chhetri leaves behind a legacy of being the top scorer from India and an example for every budding footballer from the country and beyond. Truly, his career testifies to hard work, perseverance, and love for the beautiful game.


On December 4, 2017, Sunil Chhetri and his partner of many years, Sonam Bhattacharya, tied the knot. Sonam is the daughter of Subrata Bhattacharya, a retired Indian football player and coach. Their first child, a son named Dhruv, was born on August 30, 2023.

Social Media Presence

Sunil Chhetri is quite active on social media, where he connects with his fans and shares updates about his life and career. He has a significant following on platforms like Instagram, where he has over 7.3 million followers. He often posts about his matches, training sessions, personal life, and various brand endorsements. He also has an X account @chetrisunil11 with 1.8 million followers. His Facebook profile has 1.6 million followers.


Sunil Chhetri announced his retirement from international football on May 16, 2024. He shared his decision through a heartfelt video message on his social media accounts, revealing that his last match would be the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier against Kuwait on June 6. This announcement marked the end of an illustrious two-decade career for the Indian football legend.

Bottom Line

Sunil Chhetri’s retirement marks the end of a golden chapter in Indian football. His journey has inspired many and his legacy will live on. As he steps off the pitch, a nation full of fans says a heartfelt thank you.

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