Updated May 17th, 2024 at 17:59 IST

“I was fighting myself”: Sunil Chhetri reveals BIGGEST reason behind retirement

India's most decorated football player Sunil Chhetri has revealed the biggest reason behind retiring from International Football.

Sunil Chhetri on retirement | Image:X/Screengrab
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Indian Football icon Sunil Chhetri on Thursday morning announced that he will retire from international football after taking part in his final game for India against Kuwait on June 6th at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. 

Sunil Chhetri announced his retirement by posting a nine minute video on X, however, Sunil Chhetri on Friday addressed the media in a press conference in which he revealed his biggest reason behind hanging up boots for the Indian National Team. 

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Sunil Chhetri’s Biggest reason behind retirement

Sunil Chhetri in his address to media admitted that the decision to retire from international football wasn’t due to his fitness but it was down to his mental well being and health. 

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"The retirement decision was not because of physical aspect, I am still fit, running, chasing, defending, the hard work is not difficult, the reason is to do with mental aspect," said Sunil Chhetri.  

Sunil Chhetri further confirmed that an athlete’s mental health is an integral aspect for their future and more than anything his instincts told him to stop and put an halt to his career. He further confirmed that he is not sure how much longer he will continue to play domestic football altogether 

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“I was fighting with myself, trying to think holistically, it came instinctively. One year I will be in Bengaluru FC, I don't know how long I will be playing (domestic football), after that I want to take a sabbatical," said Sunil Chettri. 

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Sunil Chhetri will retire after the match against Kuwait as India’s most decorated player ever. Chhetri is India’s most capped player in history and also the 4th highest top scorer in international football with 94 goals. He is alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi the highest international active goalscorer. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published May 17th, 2024 at 17:59 IST