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There is absolutely no comparison between me and Lionel Messi, insisted Sunil Chhetri

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There is absolutely no comparison between me and Lionel Messi, insisted Sunil Chhetri

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SportsCafe Desk


Sunil Chhetri, who equaled his tally of international goals with Lionel Messi in the Intercontinental Cup final, has rubbished all comparisons between Messi and him. He also stated that India should be lining up against stronger opponents in order to achieve their goal to get amongst Asia’s top 10.

Sunil Chhetri had a pretty eventful Intercontinental Cup final, which ended last week, as he equaled Lionel Messi’s international goal tally of 64 goals by scoring eight goals in four games to reign supreme in a tournament that included Kenya, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei. With only Cristiano Ronaldo to beat now, who leads with 81 goals, the social media was alive with comparisons levelling Chhetri the other two ballon D' or winners. However, the India skipper was quick to write them off. 

“There is absolutely no comparison. They are world-class players. I have seen the graphics on me getting same number of goals as Messi. One should just watch those memes, be happy and forget about it,” Chhetri said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

A day after FIFA changed its ranking system to limit manipulation by teams to maintain ranking point, Chhetri has called for more games against tougher sides. Chhetri said that India needed to play tougher teams in the lead up to the 2019 Asian Cup.

“We should play as many games as possible. If I may say so, our away record has been poor. We can’t invite the better ranked teams at home. But I believe we should play stronger opponents in away games to be among the top 10 in Asia,” Chhetri said, on the sidelines of announcing 2018 World Cup official match ball carriers from India, in association with FIFA and KIA Motors.

The traditional FIFA system has been using annual average points to determine rankings. So, if a team refrained from playing after a string of favorable results, their average point might have been more than those playing more games. It would have helped them in holding their rank or even improving even without playing.

The new system has been devised by FIFA with a modified ELO rating, which added or subtracted points for individual matches to/from a team’s existing point total. According to FIFA, in the new system the points added or subtracted are partially determined by the relative strength of the two opponents, including the logical expectation that teams higher in the ranking should fare better against teams lower in the ranking.

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