Stats: India's Sunil Chhetri ends 2017 ahead of Ronaldo and Messi in goals-per-game ratio
After a year of enthralling football action in 2017, Sportskeeda has tabled the current list of the Top 10 active goalscorers in international football. In a development that will delight fans, Indian ace Sunil Chhetri boasts a better goals-to-appearance ratio when compared to stalwarts of the game like the Portuguese star-man Cristiano Ronaldo, the Polish goal machine Robert Lewandowski and even the Argentina captain Lionel Messi.
The Blue Tigers’ front-man has been a potent attacking unit for his team for many years now and clocks in at 0.58 goals per game having netted 56 times in 97 matches, taking him above Lewandowski at 0.56, Ronaldo at 0.54 and Messi at 0.50. Chhetri’s superior statistics come as no surprise given his indomitable form for the Indian national team and his relentless work ethic for the squad.
His consistent solid performances in front of goal have seen India win the Nehru Cup in 2007, 2009 and again in 2012 while also bagging the 2011 SAFF Championship. in previous years. This year too, he has chipped in with crucial goals in important games as India remained unbeaten throughout 2017 and also secured a place in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Topping the list is Chhetri’s counterpart from Maldives – Ali Ashfaq – who is spoken of in the same breath as Chhetri and Baichung Bhutia as one of the best South-Asian footballers of all time. Apart from his finishing and dribbling skills, his accuracy with free-kicks has seen him claim top spot for this statistic.
The world’s most expensive player Neymar is often the man the Brazilian team turns to for inspiration and he finds himself second in the list while Spain’s David Villa, a World Cup and European Championship winner, is third with 59 goals in 98 matches at a rate of 0.60 goals per game.
Other notable performers for their national squads include the powerful Bosnia & Herzegovina striker Edin Dzeko who is as strong in the air as he is on the ground. The Ghanaian forward Asamoah Gyan and USA’s talismanic player Clint Dempsey round off the top 10.
Here is the table in full: