Captain Marvel : Sunil Chhetri
In a country, where cricket is a religion, it is hard for a player from other sporting disciplines to garner popularity but Sunil Chhetri in an exception. He has a huge fan following both on and off the field. The Indian skipper plays as a Striker for the Indian National team and has 64 goals in 101 international matches against his name. This is no meagre achievement as it is third only to Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the current era. In the domestic circuit, he plies his trade for Bengaluru FC which competes in the Indian Super League(ISL).
Chhetri started his professional career with Mohun Began in 2002. Over the period of next few years, he played with other I league clubs like JCT, Chirag United and East Bengal. His exploits in the domestic circuit attracted interests from foreign clubs. In 2010, he signed up for Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer. Unfortunately, this stint did not last long. He decided to move to Europe and signed up with the reserve side of Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Primeira Liga. This partnership only lasted for a year as Chhetri decided to part ways with the club owing to lack of playing time.
A prolific scorer for the Indian National team, Chhetri is passionate about his game and wants to improve the quality of Indian football. He was instrumental in India catapulting from a lowly 173 in FIFA rankings to 96. Over the last two years, India's performance has been on an upswing under his leadership. India went on the qualify for Asian Cup, 2019 after eight years.
The Indian skipper was recently in news owing to his emotional video posted on social media urging the Indian fans to come to the stadium and watch India compete in the Intercontinental Cup, 2018. It was widely circulated on social media platforms and people responded to the skipper's call by showing up in huge numbers in the stadium to support the Indian team. Indian team under Chhetri did not disappoint their fans as they went on to win the Intercontinental Cup before a capacity crowd.
Chhetri is 33 and is still going strong. India would want him to be at the helm of things in Indian football at least for the next few years if they want to make a considerable impact on the world stage.