Some admire Lionel Messi.
Some admire Cristiano Ronaldo.
Some admire Neymar.
I admire you, Sunil Chhetri.
June 12, 2005 : Fifteen years ago, Sunil Chhetri made his debut for the Indian team and since then, football has never been the same.
From playing in the streets of Delhi to crossing paths with the great Lionel Messi in terms of goals scored at the International level, Sunil’s love story with football is beyond inspirational and is beautiful to say the least. For a small guy in India to compete with the best there has ever been, it takes a lot of doing.
And that is why June 12 will never go unnoticed. For its a special day that takes us back to everything our captain has achieved throughout his wonderful career, a day that reminds us to never give up on our dreams, and a day that refreshes our memory and brings back smiles and emotions from all of his goals extraordinaire.
15 years– I have been witnessing your magic for 15 years now. 15 years of unparalleled joy, 15 years of smiles as well as tears that were impossible to wipe off my face and 15 years of enjoying football to the fullest.
Sunil Chhetri- I smile because of you, I cry because of you, I dream because of you and I breathe because of you. I push myself harder everyday because of you. You are my inspiration and I am me because of you.
Sunil, you have changed everything about the game. It’s no longer just football, because when you are on the pitch, you take us on a beautiful journey and it’s a journey like no other. You take us to a different world altogether, and its a world where we wish we could live in forever. Nothing seems to ever go wrong in that world, and in case something goes wrong, you are always there to weave your magic wand and bring smiles back to our faces. Once you teleport us there, there is no looking back, neither for you, nor for us.
You make this sport more than a sport. The way you handle the ball, the way you score goals, the way you stay on your feet even when they knock you down, that is the way we want football to be played. You never stop chasing lost causes, you just keep going on and on and what’s even more intriguing is your humbleness despite achieving so much, your willingness to put everything on the line for your country and your determination to keep going.
I cheer for you when you put on that India Jersey. I cheer for you like there is no tomorrow. I cheer all your goals as if my life was dependent on that and I grieve your losses as if I have suffered them myself, because ultimately, your happiness is my happiness, your victory is my victory, and your defeat, my defeat.
If I were to talk about all the spectacular things you have done on the pitch, we could be here for a lifetime and even that wouldn’t be enough. Your incredible statistics and numbers are seldom an indicator to define your contribution and importance. You have done so much for the country that it is almost impossible to describe it in words. You have given us a new meaning of football but even after all that, at the end of the day, you are still a kid who puts his heart and soul into every single game as if it’s the last.
And the word ‘last’ cracks open my heart. Rips it to absolute pieces, because in truth, you are no longer a kid. It’s been 15 years since that bubbly faced teenager scored his first for India and went on to celebrate in front of the Pakistanis with not another player joining him. You have scored 71 more times for India since then but we can never ever have enough of you. And the moment I think of a life without Sunil Chhetri, my heart skips a beat. I cannot even imagine the day you will hang up your boots. Oh! I will miss you so much. Oh! India will miss you so much.
If I were to stumble upon a magic lamp and could make three wishes, just remember that my very first wish would be for you to be forever eternal, because my life would be dull without you. Football would be dull without you, Sunil.
Happy 15 years, Sunil Chhetri. This one’s for you.
Hope am writing another one as to how Sunil Chhetri defied all odds and went on to become the highest ever International goal scorer another 15 years from now. Till then, I bid you goodbye but not before thanking you a little.
THANK YOU CAPTAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH ♥️,
Your biggest fan 😉
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