Friday, July 19, 2024

“It’s important we play Asian Games”: Sunil Chhetri

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A true sporting ambassador, Indian football icon Sunil Chhetri has made millions of countrymen a reason to believe that there’s a future for the ‘Beautiful Game’ in our on nation. Even at the age of 39, Chhetri remains as fit and firing as ever.

In fact, many believe that he is still India’s finest footballer. But, at such an age, even Chhetri knows that he can’t continue going forever.

While the subject of ‘retirement’ does cross his mind, Chhetri is more ‘hopeful’ than scared about the day he has to call time on his career. Having been central to India’s triumphs at the Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship recently, Chhetri also highlighted how important it is for him and the Indian football team to play at the forthcoming Asian Games.

In an exclusive interview with NDTV’s Osama Shaab, Chhetri spoke about his role as a leader in the team, his thoughts on his retirement, India’s participation in the upcoming Asian Games, and coach Igor Stimac’s impact on the team. Chhetri also recollected fans singing the popular song ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ with fans after winning the SAFF Championship at Kanteerava Stadium.

Chhetri Talks About His Role As A Leader

“My job is to be a great example for the team. What I do or say & how I behave matters.”

Chhetri Opens Up On His Debut Against Pakistan

“I’ll never forget my debut against Pakistan. I’ll take that to my grave. I never dreamt of playing for India, in fact, I just wanted a certificate to get admission in St. Stephens college. From there to play for India was unbelievable.”

Chhetri Talks About His Longevity

“I have to thank my parents for my genetics. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by extraordinary people in my life. Many sportspersons have done well because of their longevity. Athletes like Leander Paes, Mary Kom & Virat Kohli achieved so much because they kept on going.”

Chhetri On His Retirement

“The thought of retirement crosses my mind, but I am more hopeful than scared. I am in fact scared for myself because I won’t be able to play football.”

Chhetri On Asian Games Participation

Sunil Chhetri On Asian Games Participation

“It’s important to play in the Asian Games. The more tournaments we play, the better we get.”

Chhetri On Igor Stimac’s Impact

“Stimac is a great man manager. His doors are always open for players. He genuinely wants India to do well.”

Chhetri On Singing ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ With Fans

Sunil Chhetri On Singing ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ With Fans

“I haven’t felt like that in my 22-year career. I hope to experience many such moments.”

Chhetri Can’t Wait To Become A Father

“I am not carrying the baby, I am just a substitute here so I’ll carry the boots and give my wife a massage. Watching someone you love go through pregnancy is unbelievable.”

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