When India reached the field at the Mumbai Football Arena on Monday, the 33-year-old Sunil Chhetri penned a better screenplay for his 100th international game.
Chhetri struck two times to rule India into the final of the Intercontinental Cup with a forceful 3-0 triumph over Kenya On May 04 evening.
Sunil, who started his senior profession in the year 2002, disclosed that he didn’t anticipate hitting this landmark.
‘’I had a dream but never dreamt of playing 100 International matches. This is unbelievable. I'm completely honoured. 100 games is a big deal but I don't say that with arrogance,’’ he stated.
The Indian captain, who pocketed a hattrick during the opening match in opposition to Chinese Taipei, made a special tweet to urge buffs to turn up for the event.
Reflecting the record, he clarified, ‘’The video wasn't for the special occasion (100th appearance). I didn't believe the impact. I thank everyone who has joined in.
‘’We played the game (on June 1, Friday) and it was great to celebrate with the fans but I was speaking to Sandesh (Jhingan) about how clubs have done well at the club level. The topmost is Kerala Blasters, where the players can't hear. You want to live the 90 minutes, this is what we want to feel. This is something we didn't feel in Mumbai.’’
The skipper has stated that during his journey, he has become a diplomatic personality.
’I have become calmer. Once you grow older and play more, you tend to start filtering stuff which isn't needed for you. My thought process is very specific but that has made me wiser and calmer,’’ he added.
Presently placed at the 97th place in the FIFA grades, the Indian side has witnessed a huge improvement recently.
The Bengaluru FC stalwart thinks that the group has the willpower to go up the table as he stated, “We have the desire to move up the ranks. We need to keep working hard. I don't take rankings seriously because of the way it works. One agenda is to play well and try to win.”
"To reach under 100 was difficult but to stay there is very, very difficult. We have to make sure to give our best at every opportunity. ’We want to improve in away matches. We are good at home but need to do better away. I just hope we have more away fixtures.’’
To conclude, the Indian international articulated his visions on the existing state of football in the country saying, ‘’I think Indian football is on the right path. There's a steady growth. But when we compare to Asian countries, we're behind and it makes me sad. We have to speed up. Everyone has to work hard as where we want to go is far. We want to rub shoulders with the best in Asia.’’