Indians are popular for very other thing asides football. From Bollywood to cricket and ZeeWorld, Indians have achieved other international goals. But playing football hasn’t exactly been one of them.
If you’re a
proper Nigerian, then you must have grown up to hear the fables. The legendary tale of Nigeria being defeated by the Indians and the football turning to a lion/huge rock was (and is still) preposterous. But most of us believed it (I did so much, I dreamt of the game several times, 😂)
That’s the earliest I remember “India” and “football” appearing in the same context. The only other time was when the country hosted a football tournament in 2018.
The Indians, in a bid to not be left out, put on a show in their first game of the 2019 Asian Cup. They 4-1 win over Thailand was so surprising that the Thai authorities sacked their coach. But that was not the only record to be set on the day.
Move Over Lionel Messi!
Pele and Maradona must get jealous of how the Ronaldo-Messi rivalry overshadows their a million times over. Fans, in a bid to prove which player is more superior, try to use all they can find.
This includes goals for clubs, and of course, the amount of international goals scored. Sometimes they talk about the number of trophies they have won. At other times, the argument centres on which player has the most international goals.
Both players, in recent times, have dominated when it comes to most goals in international football. But a certain Indian has now joined the party, breaking up the duopoly recently.
Sunil Chhetri scores his 66th with India to overtake Lionel Messi becoming the active player with the 2nd most international goals 👏 pic.twitter.com/4EaDP8IeqK
— #AsianCup2023 (@afcasiancup) January 6, 2019
Sunil Chhetri scored twice against Thailand at the 2019 Asian Cup to reach 67 goals and overtake Argentina forward Messi’s 65 to move second in the list. It took Sunil 14 years and 105 caps to achieve this record.
However, different arguments have been raised.
- Has Sunil Chhetri played at any World Cup?
- What calibre of opposition did he score his international goals against?
- How long can he play for?
He’s still a long way from the amount of Ronaldo international goals (85). Furthermore, these number are bound to change in the coming days, with these players still very much active.
But it’s still a feat worth celebrating. Indian youngsters now have a name they can look up to when it comes to football. India is not all about dancing, 33 million gods and cricket after all.
Author: For The Goal
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