Sunil Chhetri is a familiar name for all football fans in India and the goalscoring record of the Indian football team skipper has solidified his place in the sport’s folklore. With 72 goals under his belt, he is the second most successful striker in the world when it comes to active players – just behind Portuguese maestro Cristiano Ronaldo. In the recent past, Chhetri has guided India to a number of good results on the international stage and on 100 Hours 100 Stars, an initiative started by Fever Network, Chhetri revealed how he chose to play football.
“I think it is a mutual bond. You don’t just choose a sport. The sport chooses you too. I was doing all the sports when I was young but I never thought that I will make it big as a sportsperson. I wanted to play this sport because I love it and I did not think that I will make it big. I just liked to play,” he explained.
Chhetri also talked about how he copes with the criticism that comes with his position and stated that although he used to get affected by it all, he has changed over time.
“One fine day, I understood that whatever I do, I cannot change people’s perceptions. Sports is about emotions and an action will result in a lot of reactions. I understood that if I start reacting to everything, I am never going to win. So I stopped doing that and I just try to stay in my head.“
With 72 goals from 115 appearances, the goal-scoring prowess shown by Chhetri is next to none in India but the skipper was not ready to rest on his laurels and he said that he will think about his achievements once he retires.
“Right now I am just happy scoring for my country. Once I am done, I can sit and think about all this,” he concluded.