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Sunil Chhetri farewell: A timeline on the Indian football captain before his retirement

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Sunil Chhetri, India’s highest-ever goalscorer for the National team, will hang up his boots from international football after India plays Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Thursday.

Chhetri announced the decision via a video message posted across social media platforms. The 39-year-old striker has been capped 145 times by India, scoring 94 goals in a career spanning 20 years.

“The feel that I recollect in the last 19 years is a very nice combination of duty, pressure and immense joy,” Chhetri said in the video message.

“I never thought individually these are the games I’ve played for the country, this is what I’ve done good, I’ve done bad. But, now I did it, this last one-and-a-half two months. It felt very strange,” he said. “I did it because I was going towards the decision that the next game was going to be my last.”

Before his final match as an international, Sportstar looks at a timeline of key events of the legend’s career:

Having made his debut against Pakistan as a 20-year-old, Chhetri inspired generations over 19 years and will look to end his on a high, as India looks to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2027.

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