India Captain Sunil Chhetri HINTS at possible RETIREMENT, says there are ‘WORTHY’ successors
Sunil Chhetri Retirement: Sunil Chhetri, the captain of India, remarked on Saturday that he is “fossilised” and that the nation may not…
Sunil Chhetri Retirement: Sunil Chhetri, the captain of India, remarked on Saturday that he is “fossilised” and that the nation may not find his identical replacement, but emphasised that the national team has “worthy” successors as he hinted at possible retirement. Sunil Chhetri is two years away from finishing an outstanding 20-year international career. Sunil Chhetri is, however, very driven and enthusiastic about donning the colours of his country and leading them to greater heights ahead of the Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship 2023. Follow AFC Asian Cup 2023 and Indian Football Team LIVE Updates on InsideSport.IN
“I am fossilized. I have played for a long time, that is why you may not be able to find the exact replacement (of me) but there are many players (in the team) who will do well, if not better than me,” Chhetri said when asked if the country has got his replacement.
The 38-year-old Chhetri made his international debut in 2005, and since then he has shattered a number of records, including being the man with the most caps for India (133 games). He is third among active football players in the world for most international goals scored (85) for his nation.
“You might not see a direct successor of me right now. I am not in the age bracket as the other senior players (in national team),” he said during a virtual interaction ahead of the four-team Intercontinental Cup which India is hosting in Bhubaneswar from June 9-18.
The Bengaluru FC star is not concerned that the Blue Tigers would not be able to find a new leader after he steps down since he believes that the present senior players will continue to be significant characters in the team’s future. ” I’m not sure how that message was conveyed. The likes of Amrinder, Rahul, and Sandesh – are all leaders at their clubs and they are making sure that they’re good examples. They’re always encouraging the youngsters and helping them. Those players are always helping the younger players grow. The people I’ve played with, I’m like fossil because I’ve played a long time, so you might not find an exact replacement – but those coming up will do well and all of them encourage the other ones.”
Sunil Chhetri responded, “The clubs have to trust our forwards, but also the players have to work very hard to earn that respect,” when asked if Indian forwards like Ishan Pandita, Manvir Singh, or Rahim Ali can be as good as the international center-forwards in the near future. One reason Roy Krishna and Sunil Chhetri play together for Bengaluru FC is that they are a good team. ” Roy sat for two games, I sat for six, but Sivasakthi began each of those eight games. ” he added.
“People like Siva getting all the games isn’t that usual in the ISL, but it’s a catch-22 situation. The young forwards like Rahim Ali, Manvir or Liston – need to work a little bit harder because they’re comparing themselves with foreigners. If you are a no.9 or no.10, you need to fight with foreigners – that has been happening since the I-League days. That is the way it is. You’ll have to work a bit harder. The club encourages this also helps, which has been happening in BFC. In the ISL, it’s a fight for the forwards to compete with foreigners,” he finished off with.”
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