Chhetri set for 150th international cap on Tuesday; to be feted by AIFF

Indian player Sunil Chhetri and Kuwait's Sultan Al Enezi during SAFF Championship 2023 match between India and Kuwait.
Indian player Sunil Chhetri and Kuwait's Sultan Al Enezi during SAFF Championship 2023 match between India and Kuwait.

New Delhi | Nearly two decades after he made his senior debut against Pakistan, Indian talisman Sunil Chhetri is set for another milestone as he will appear in his 150th international match in the World Cup qualifier against Afghanistan in Guwahati on Tuesday.

India played out a goalless draw against Afghanistan in their away leg contest as they climbed to second in Group A in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

By achieving the feat, Chhetri will become the 40th player in the world to play 150 or more international matches in the list led by Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (205).

Chhetri first donned the senior national jersey on June 12, 2005, in a friendly match against Pakistan in Quetta.

He was India's scorer in the 1-1 draw. Since then, he has made 149 appearances for the national team, netting a record 93 goals.

A prolific goal-getter, the 39-year-old holds the unique record of scoring at least one goal in his first, 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th and 125th match for the Blue Tigers.

"It's been an awe-inspiring and staggering cruise that all of us have been fortunate to witness since 2005," All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey said in a press release.

"Chhetri playing his 150th international match is an extraordinary accomplishment that will go a long way in keeping the Indian football flag flying high.

"He has been a great influencer who has motivated millions to play this beautiful game. I congratulate Chhetri for reaching this great height in international football," he added.

The AIFF also announced that they will felicitate the Indian star on the sidelines of their return leg clash against Afghanistan in Guwahati.

"In many football fans' eyes, Chhetri is almost the synonym of the Indian men's national team. He is a fabulous footballer, a cool captain, and a star striker.

"The All India Football Federation is proud to felicitate him on his 150th international match. We sincerely hope Chhetri will continue to serve Indian football in the same breath in the future," AIFF acting secretary general M Satyanarayan said.

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