A tale of two captains: When India's Sunil Chhetri and England's Eric Dier played at Sporting Lisbon B
Dier had played with Chherti in the Sporting Lisbon B side
Tottenham Hotspur star Eric Dier will be captaining the Three Lions for second straight match against Brazil today. Dier was the captain for the 0-0 draw against Germany last Friday as well. He was handed the captain's armband by coach Gareth Southgate, as a part of the learning process of the young player.
At the other end of the world, India captain Sunil Chhetri played a crucial role in his side's 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier, to earn the Blue Tigers a 2-2 draw against Myanmar at home. The result itself was inconsequential for Chhetri and his men, as India have already qualified for the 2019 Asian Cup.
Incidentally, the England captain had a small stint alongside the Indian Captain Sunil Chhetri at Sporting Lisbon. Chhetri moved to Portugal after signing a one-year contract with the Portuguese. Chhetri was to play for the Sporting Lisbon B team,which competes in the Portuguese second division.
Chhetri's time at Sporting just gave him the taste of European football, but he did not make much of an impact with the Portuguese side. He had the occasional appearances in the second division, before returning to India, making three competitive appearances for Sporting.
The 23-year-old Dier was a part of Sporting Lisbon youth setup before joining the heavyweights Tottenham Hotspurs. During the 2012-14 period, Both Dier and Chhetri played alongside each other in the Sporting Lisbon B team.
Out of the two games that Chhetri played alongside Dier, Sporting B lost the first one against Freamunde, before getting a draw against the Braga B side, a few weeks later.
The presence of a born leader like Chhetri could well have had an effect on players like Dier to build up their leadership quality. Even though Sunil Chhetri could not make an impact in Europe, moments like this will always be cherish able for the Indian football star. Lisbon can be proud to have created some good captains around the world from their second string sides.