Sunil Chhetri only behind Ronaldo, Messi; surpasses Villa’s 59 goal record

Sunil Chhetri made an impassioned plea to all fans of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo, “abuse us, criticize us but please come to watch the Indian national team”

Sunil Chhetri, one of the greatest footballers the country has produced, played his 100th international match on Monday when India took on Kenya in Intercontinental Cup at Mumbai Football Arena. He broke David Villa’s record of 59 goals by scoring two goals, which took his tally to 61 goals for the Indian National Team. Now, he is only behind Ronaldo (81 goals) and Messi (64 goals) in terms of International goals.

Jeje Lalpekhlua scored the 2nd goal in today’s match, helping India bag 3-0 win. The game started on a slow note due to heavy rain.

Build up to the game

Earlier, in his 99th match, Chhetri scored a hat-trick to seal the game for India against Chinese Taipei and equalled David Villa’s record of 59 goals. After the match on Saturday, he made an impassioned plea to all fans of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo: “Abuse us, criticize us but please come to watch the Indian national team.” India cricket captain Virat Kohli was the first to support Chettri, urging sports lovers to come forward and watch the national football side play, in an instagram post.

With less than two weeks left for Fifa World Cup 2018 to begin and broadcasters urging fans of the ‘beautiful game’ to profess their love for their ‘doosri country’ via hashtags and advertisements, the nation’s all-time highest goal-getter demanded some love and affection for their ‘first country’.

What Sunil Chettri said in the twitter post

“To all of you who are fans of big European clubs and support European clubs with so much passion and sometimes you guys think that the level is not the same, so why do you waste your time? Agreed, the level is not the same, not even close but with our desire and determination, we will try our best to make your time worth,” Chhetri’s plea was not only about accepting where they stand but also what little they want from the fans. “To all of you, who have lost hope or don’t have any hope in Indian football, we request you to come and watch us in the stadium,” the skipper said. Chhetri also requested the critics of Indian football — please abuse but make the ‘Blue Tigers’ feel relevant. “I mean it’s not fun to criticise and abuse othe n internet. Come to the stadium, do it on our face, scream at us, shout at us, abuse us, who knows one day we might change you guys, you might start cheering for us. You guys have no idea how important you guys are and how important your support is,” the skipper appealed.

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