Indian Football: Sunil Chhetri says comparison with Pele does not affect him, he is happy to score goals for his country
The two goals by Sunil Chhetri not only helped India reach the final, but it also helped him become the sixth-highest goalscorer in international football surpassing the Brazillian legend Pele.
The Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri scored a brace against the Maldives to help India reach the SAFF Cup 2021 final. The two goals not only helped India reach the final, but it also helped him become the sixth-highest goalscorer in international football surpassing the Brazillian legend Pele.
Sunil has 79 goals to his name, two more than Pele, and is currently the highest international active goal scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. After reaching the SAFF Cup final, and breaking Pele's record Sunil Chhetri spoke to the media and shared his views.
"I have not seen enough footage of the great Pele. Whatever little I have seen, he was very dynamic and very powerful. Football was more physical and brutal in those times, so in that era to be that physical and dynamic and score those many goals is such a worldly achievement. He is an all-time great. I couldn't see him much because of less footage. The number of goals and assists he has kind of speaks for itself. As far as me going above him is concerned I feel nothing about it. I am just happy that I am scoring goals for my country." said Sunil Chhetri on how much of Pele's game has he seen, and what does it feel like going ahead of him in the scoring charts.
Pele is an all-time great in the history of the beautiful game, and for Sunil to cross his number in international football is a proud moment for every Indian irrespective of the difference in the quality of football.
Sunil Chhetri was adjudged the man of the match in the game against the Maldives, and he gave his award to Lalengmawia Ralte known as Apuia for his performance in the same match. It was a beautiful gesture by the captain to such a young player.
"I wish I had two man-of-the-matches, I would have given one award to Suresh as well. Apuia & Suresh were brilliant. When they were selected for the match, I did not see even an inch of doubt in their eyes and their behavior. It was so soothing and good to see it. They were so confident and the way they played the game was too good. I know that they have not achieved the word but it made me really happy. It was in the spur of the moment that I gave Apuia that award because I completely feel he deserved it, and Suresh stays closer to me so he will get something else. But these two lads made us proud. I just hope they keep their head on their shoulders, and they will do great for our country" said Sunil on he gave the man-of-the-match awards to Apuia.
The Indian team takes on Nepal in the SAFF Cup 2021 final on the 16th of October. Keep following The Bridge football for more updates on Indian football.