Will Sunil Chhetri continue to play for Bengaluru FC in the ISL after his international retirement?

Sunil Chhetri bids farewell to International football
Sunil Chhetri bids farewell to International football

Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium was awash with emotions as Indian football icon Sunil Chhetri played his final international match against Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers on Thursday, June 6. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, but the event's significance was far beyond the scoreline.

After the match, Chhetri walked around the stadium, thanking the 58,921 fans for their support. His teammates and officials lined up to honor him, bringing tears to his eyes. Kuwait's players and officials also showed their respect with handshakes and hugs.

However, it's not the end of his football career as he will continue to ply his trade for ISL outfit Bengaluru FC.

Chhetri's illustrious international career, spanning from 2005 to 2024, saw him earn 151 caps and score 94 goals. His career highlights include leading India to victory in multiple tournaments, such as the Nehru Cup and SAFF Championship, and making three AFC Asian Cup appearances.

But Chhetri said he will continue to play for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League, where he has already made a significant impact, scoring 61 goals in 155 matches - the most by any Indian player in the league.

Chhetri's first taste of international football came in 2004, and since then, he has been a pivotal figure in Indian football.

Honoring Sunil Chhetri's two decades career

Sunil Chhetri retired from international football after an illustrious career. His debut international tournament was the 2007 Nehru Cup, where he scored four goals.

He is among the top 10 international goalscorers, trailing only behind legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the active players' list. Chhetri played for prominent clubs like Bengaluru FC, East Bengal, and Mohun Bagan, and had an overseas stint at Sporting CP.

Chhetri led India to multiple victories, including the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cups and the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup. He won the AIFF Player of the Year award seven times and also received the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, and the Khel Ratna award.

While his international journey ends, his legacy will continue to inspire future generations, and his presence will still be felt on the domestic circuit with Bengaluru FC.

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