The one name who is representing Indian football for a long time and recording India’s name in history books of football is none other than Sunil Chhetri. The current captain of Indian football team, also known as Captain Fantastic, is both the most-capped player and all-time top goal scorer for the Indian national team, with 72 goals in 115 appearences. He is also second in the list of highest number of goal scored in the international football just after Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo.
He started his professional football career with Mohun Bagan in 2002 and played for the club for 3 years and ended up scoring 8 goals in 18 matches. His stint with JCT started in 2005 where he netted three times in his first season, twice against Salgaocar and once against Sporting Goa. During the 2006-07 season, Chhetri scored a total of 11 goals in the league for JCT as the club finished in second place just after Dempo. Next year during the very first season of I-League, Chhetri scored seven goals as JCT finished the season in third place.
Meanwhile in December 2007, Chhetri was awarded the AIFF Player of the Year award in 2007 for his brilliant form for club and country. After his mouth watering performances, he found interest from various clubs from abroad and his name started to get linked with top European clubs like Leeds United. In March 2010, Chhetri was on trial with Kansas City Wizards of MLS and then formally signed for the club becoming just the third Indian to play outside of South Asia and the first Indian to play in MLS. His brief stint with MLS side included his appearance against Manchester United where he came on as a substitute.
His another overseas stint came with Sporting CP( boyhood club of Cristiano Ronaldo) where he played for their reserve side in 2012. Later he moved to India to play for Churchill Brothers on loan from Portuguese club helped them to win the I-League.On July 19 ,2013 following his release from Sporting CP, he was signed by Bengaluru FC which was a newly entered club in the I-league.
His eye catching performances for Bengaluru FC helped them to win the league in club’s inaugural season. His one of the greatest achievements with BFC came when they finished as Runner ups in 2016 AFC Cup under then gaffer Albert Roca. From 2017 he is playing for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League and also won the tournament in 2018/19 season. Other honours include Super Cup and the Indian Federation Cup. Internationally, he won SAFF Championship 2 times and Nehru Cup 3 times with the Blue Tigers. For his noteable performances for India he was awarded with Arjuna award in 2011 and Padma Shri award in 2019.