Indian football team skipper Sunil Chhetri has admitted that it would be very fruitful and satisfying to be a part of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, which can well be his last major outing. The legendary footballer has already been a part of two Asian Cups, in 2011 and in the most recent edition, in 2019.
India’s not-so convincing 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign ended earlier this year, with them managing to register just one win out of eight matches, in spite of playing against teams like Afghanistan and Bangladesh. However, finishing third in the group, behind heavyweights Qatar and Oman, did ensure them a ticket to the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Sunil Chhetri, who scored three goals in the qualifying campaign, admitted that it would be very fruitful and satisfying to be a part of the showpiece event in 2023. However, there’s a long way to go, with India needing to ensure at least a top-two finish in the next round of group matches to keep their hopes alive. The talismanic striker has already featured in two Asian Cups, in 2011 and recently, in 2019.
“It would be very fruitful and satisfying if I can be part of that tournament,” said Sunil Chhetri, as reported by Hindustan Times.
At the age of 37, it is likely that the forward is eyeing his last major tournament, in 2023. Having started his professional career for Mohun Bagan at the age of 17 and a half, the footballer has come a long way. The prolific striker has represented various clubs across India and was also involved in stints with MLS side Kansas City Wizards and Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon. According to him, playing for different clubs helped him become a better player.
“It (changing clubs) has helped me become a better player and a patient, kinder human being. You see new coaches, new people, a different culture, language and you learn more. The more knowledge you grasp, the better for you,” added the Bengaluru FC star.