Indian football veteran Sunil Chhetri on Tuesday was adjudged the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year. With this, it is confirmed that Chhetri will win the title for a record-breaking sixth time.
The captain of the Men’s Football Team has been in phenomenal form in the last few years and has already been given the honour in 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2017 before being named the Men’s Footballer of the Year yet another time on Tuesday. The striker currently plays for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League.
Chhetri is often credited to revive Indian football. His brilliance on the football ground has inspired many youngsters to follow the sport more passionately. Others have even taken up the sport at a professional level.
“We’ve got Chhetri, Sunil Chhetri, I just don’t think you understand” is a popular chant in the stands whenever Chhetri dons his club jersey and plays at his home ground Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. A jam-packed Sree Kanteerava Stadium with especially the West Block Blues supporting their hero Sunil Chhetri is a sight to behold in Indian football.
It is worth noting that Chhetri is the second highest goal scorer among active players in the international circuit with as many as 70 goals to his credit. He has even gone past the Argentine legend Lionel Messi who has 68 goals. Only Cristiano Ronaldo with 149 goals is ahead of him.
He is also the most capped player for India with 109 matches. The previous most capped player was former captain of the Indian team Bhaichung Bhutia who played 107 matches for India.
Meanwhile, Abdul Samad was named the AIFF Emerging Men’s player of the year award while Ashalata Devi was declared the AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year.
For good work in the grassroot development programme, Jammu and Kashmir football association was honoured.
R Venkatesh was named the best referee for the year 2018-19.