Sachin Tendulkar made a special demand from India football captain Sunil Chhetri on his birthday. The Indian cricket legend urged the talismanic forward to bring more laurels to the country and take the game to the next level.
A small gesture by one of cricket's greats but nonetheless a fitting tribute to the torchbearer of Indian Football who deserves all the praise and accolades that come his way just for his massive contribution to the sport in a country where he waged a lone battle for almost a decade.
Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri, who recently signed a contract extension with the Blues has showed no signs on slowing down even at the age of 34. The prolific forward was also recently awarded the AIFF Player of the Year, for a record fifth time.
The Asian Football Confederation made his birthday a memorable one, by posting a fitting tribute for the the talismanic Indian forward on its official page. The article titled “Asian Icons: Sunil Chhetri,” contained a throwback of his footballing career and his most memorable moments on the field, both for his country and club.
Sunil Chhetri, India’s highest capped and all time top international goal-scorer with 64 goals has been the key figure to Indian Football success in the past 10 years. In a tribute of his achievements, the Indian skipper's birthday is celebrated as Football Delhi Day by the state body of the game in Delhi where he now resides.
The 34 year-old forward, who has enjoyed a trophy-laded career, will be looking to replicate his outstanding form for both club and country during the upcoming season. He made his 100th International appearance during the recently concluded Intercontinental Cup and helped India lift the title. Chhetri will be looking to do the same when he rubs shoulders with Asia's finest during January's AFC Asian Cup.
As far as Indian football is concerned, Sunil Chettri is already a legend. He has replicated one of his idols, Bhaichung Bhutia to become the face of Indian football. His contributions will always be written in gold in the annals of Indian football history. A champion in the true sense of the word.