Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri Becomes Second-Highest International Goal Scorer

June 8, 2021

Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri has surpassed Argentina's superstar Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer.

The 36-year-old Indian talisman, who scored two goals against Bangladesh in the joint preliminary qualifying round match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup on June 7 (Monday) night, now has 74 goals to his name.

The seasoned striker, who helped India register their first win in six years in World Cup qualifiers, now stands only behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorers list.

Sunil Chhetri now leads Barcelona star, Messi, by two goals and sits a place above Ali Mabkhout of the UAE, who is third on the list with 73 goals to his name.

Messi scored his 72nd international goal in a World Cup qualifier against Chile on June 7, while Mabkhout added to his tally against Malaysia, also last week.

Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 79th minute on May 7 when he headed in Ashique Kuruniyan's cross from the left and then sealed the victory by curling in a shot from long range in added time.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel lauded the captain for leading from the front and in a tweet said, "Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals."

"A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future," Patel added.

The India captain is also just a goal away from entering world football's all-time top-10.

He is behind Hungary's Sandor Kocsis, Japan's Kunishige Kamamoto, and Kuwait's Bashar Abdullah, who all have 75 goals.

With the win, India rose to the third spot in Group E with six points from seven games.

India will next face Afghanistan in the qualifiers on June 15.

The side is already out of contention to qualify for World Cup 2022, but the Blue Tigers can still make it to the Asian Cup in China.

Share article on:

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram