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Sunil Chhetri to retire after India vs Kuwait Game

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Sunil Chhetri

Legendary Indian football player Sunil Chhetri declared on Thursday that he will step down from playing for his country after the June 6 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Kuwait. In a video that was uploaded to social media, the captain of the national team announced his choice. Over the course of a 20-year career, Chhetri has participated in 145 games for India and scored 93 goals.

I always remember one day in particular the first time I performed for my country man because it was such an amazing experience. However, my first national team coach, Sukhi sir, approached me early on the morning of the big day and said, “Are you going to start?” Man, I can’t even tell you how I felt. I took my jersey and, for some reason, sprayed it with perfume. Thus, everything that transpired on that day from breakfast to lunch to the game to my first goal on my debut to conceding in the late eighty-minute mark is likely something I will never forget and ranks among the finest.

The Realization of the Final Game

sunil chettri

You know, the feeling I’ve remembered for the past 19 years is a really pleasant blend of intense joy and duty pressure. I never considered it on my own, but now that I’ve done it, I can look back on the numerous games I’ve played for my nation and assess what good or bad I did. I did it for the past 1.5–2 months, and it was really weird. Probably did it because I was leaning toward the conclusion that this game and the one after it would be my last.

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And that’s when I began to remember everything the first time I told myself that, yeah, this is the final game I will ever play. It was really weird. I began to think about this game, that game, that coach, that coach, that team, that player, that field, that away game, that good game, that awful game, all of my individual performances everything appeared, every flash of insight appeared. Thus, when I did make the decision that this would be my final game.

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Breaking the News to Family

My family came first, so I told my mom, dad, and wife. My dad was, well, my dad. He was normal, relieved, happy, all of that. But my mom and wife immediately started crying, so I told them, You used to always bug me about how many games there were and how much pressure there was when you watched me. Now that you know, I’m not going to play for my country after this game.

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And even they found it difficult to explain to me why they started crying. It wasn’t because I was feeling worn out or that I was experiencing any particular emotion; rather, I gave it a lot of thought when the notion that this should be my final game occurred.