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Stats: Sunil Chhetri overtakes Wayne Rooney, becomes 4th highest active international scorer

Sunil Chhetri scored his 54th international goal on Tuesday
Sagnik Kundu
Modified 16 Jun 2017, 16:29 IST

India’s win over Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday was monumental for more than one reason. Following this win, India have achieved their best ever ranking in 21 years.

The win was secured by Chhetri’s brilliant goal in the 69th minute. In a breathtaking counter attack, the Indian skipper darted through the Kyrgyzstan midfield and found Jeje on the right. Jeje lobbed it over for Chhetri, who found the back of the net with a sublime finish.

By scoring the all-important goal against Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, he became the fourth highest goal scorer for their nation among active International players. It was his 54th goal in just 94 matches. In the process, he surpassed England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney’s tally of 53 international goals.

Also Read: Captain Fantastic and the Blue Tigers - Sunil Chhetri and the Indian football team keep delivering

Topping the list, of course, is Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo who has just endured one of his most successful seasons. The Real Madrid forward has scored 73 goals for his country in 139 matches, the last of which came against Latvia in the recent World Cup qualifier match.

With the Confederations Cup coming up, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner certainly has the opportunity of increasing his tally and ascertaining his position at the top.

Ronaldo is followed by none other than his arch-rival Lionel Messi. The diminutive Argentine playmaker has featured in 118 matches for his country in which he has scored 58 goals.

Having endured a below-average season by his trophy count, Messi will look to come back strongly next season. Argentina are scheduled to play a string of matches as part of their World Cup qualifying campaign in this year.

Following the two living legends on this list is Clint Demsey of the United States of America. The former Tottenham Hotspur striker, who now plies his trade at MLS club Seattle Sounders FC, has scored 56 goals in 134 matches for his country. Chhetri needs just two more goals to overtake Dempsey and climb to third on this list.


A striking feature, however, is that Chhetri’s goals-per-game ratio is better than Ronaldo, Messi and Dempsey. The following table illustrates the statistics: 

NameCountryMatchesNo. of goalsGoals per match
Cristiano RonaldoPortugal139730.52
Lionel MessiArgentina118580.49
Clint DempseyUSA134560.42
Sunil ChhetriIndia94540.57
Wayne RooneyEngland119530.46
Ali AshfaqMaldives77520.68
Badr Al-MutawaKuwait159520.33
Edin DzekoBosnia84500.60
Shinji OkazakiJapan108500.46

Also Read: We’ve got Chhetri, Sunil Chhetri... I just don’t think you understand

Published 16 Jun 2017, 16:25 IST
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