India skipper Sunil Chhetri (Image: AIFF)
India skipper Sunil Chhetri (Image: AIFF)

I don't count goals: Chhetri after surpassing Messi's tally

ANI | Updated: Jun 08, 2021 11:39 IST

Doha [Qatar], June 8 (ANI): India football captain Sunil Chhetri isn't counting the number of goals he has scored in international football despite surpassing Argentina star Lionel Messi's tally. Chhetri added another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer on Monday.
Chhetri achieved the feat when he struck a brace to help India defeat Bangladesh 2-0 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China Qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium at Al Sadd Club in Doha.
The 36-year-old Chhetri scored both his goals in the second half of the match to hand India a thrilling win.
"You know, I don't (on being asked is he counting on a number of goals). Once I'm done in ten years we will talk about all my goals," Chhetri said after the match in a video posted on Indian Football Team Twitter.
Chhetri has now scored 74 goals, two more than Messi, and is only behind Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the list of active footballers with the most international goals. Ali Mabkhout is third on the list having scored 73 goals.

During the match, Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 78th minute when he headed in Ashique Kuruniyan's cross from the left. He then sealed the result by curling in a shot from long range in added time, to win the match 2-0 for the Blue Tigers.
"It was tough, frustrating at times. We missed a lot of chances, could have done a lot of things better but in the end, we are happy that we got the three points which were needed," said Chhetri.
"We probably should have done a lot of things better. Anyways to win full three points and game is always sweet. I'm really happy that we also kept a clean sheet," he added.
Last week, Qatar had defeated 10-man India 1-0 in the tournament. "It has been a topsy-turvy qualifier, we had some decent performances but we weren't able to show any result," said Chhetri.
India moved to six points from seven matches, while Bangladesh is at two points from seven matches. India next play Afghanistan in their last group league match on June 15. (ANI)