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Sunil Chhetri announces retirement from international football

The captain of the Indian men’s football team announced his retirement from international football on Thursday.

Chhetri posted a video on his X account in which he confirmed that India’s World Cup qualifier on June 6 against Kuwait at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata would be his last match.

The 39-year-old has made 145 appearances for India and scored 94 goals. He is the fourth top scorer in men’s international football, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Ali Daei and Lionel Messi.

Chhetri made his debut for India in 2005 in an international friendly match against India. The center forward opened his goal tally for India on his debut by scoring a goal in the 65th minute.

Chhetri has been named Indian Footballer of the Year seven times. He won the AFC Challenger Cup in 2008. In 2018 and 2023, he won the Intercontinental Cup and has won the South Asian Championship four times (2011, 2015, 2021 and 2023).

The Secundrabad-born footballer received the Arjuna Award in 2011, the Padma Shri Award in 2019 and the Khel Ratna Award in 2021, for his contribution to Indian sports.

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