criticize us , abuse us , shout at us , scream at us , but please come to us. Who knows this might change you some day , some day , this might bring a change in us. Please come to support us.
– Sunil Chetri
These were the words of request spoken by the man, who is a synonym for the Indian Football from the past 13 years , the second Indian after Baichung Bhutia to play against Manchester United , and , the man who is ranked third among the top active international goal scorers, just after the talesmanic Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Our football captain Sunil Chetri did everything to reach to our hearts and souls , so that we can connect to our national team, our national players , before his 100th match for the country.
The sky roared that night with the Indian Tigers , the plea was heard and the match attendance rose from 2500 , which was against Chinese Taipei , to 18000 , to the full capacity of the Mumbai Football Arena. With a very lesser audience in the first match , our team managed to defeat their opponents by the score of 5-0 , where the Indian skipper scored a hat-trick . The second match against a comparatively stronger Kenya proved to be more exciting where he scored a brace and India won by 3-0 and Chetri reached to a total of 61 goals , only 3 less than Lionel Messi.
Just after the match , he tweeted and thanked everyone for coming. His tweet read –
We promise you that if that’s the kind of support we get every time we play for the country, we will give our lives on the pitch. India, this night was special because we were in this together. Those in the stands shouting, and the ones at home cheering – thank you!— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 4, 2018
The ecstatic atmosphere also witnessed a pitch invader , touching Chetri’s feet . That was a sign, that how football has started influencing our population and that , how much people respect our Indian players.
The invader asked for a selfie, and Chetri told him to take it afterwards , then the officials came to remove the miscreant from the field , but Chetri asked rhe officials to behave calmly and soft.
The day before the match , Indian skipper was backed both by Bollywood and the sports giants , including the likes of Virat Kohli , Sachin Tendulkar , Abhishek Bacchan , Arjun Kapoor and Ayushman Khurana in the social media.
Looks like the Indian audience , which is divided by the debates over the supremacy of Ronaldo and Messi , is united by their local hero Chetri.
The night of 4th June 2018 would be counted in one of the greatest nights encountered in the pages of Indian Football , which ended with the national players and their die hard supporters , joining hands for the Viking clap and their roar being echoed to the world , to the FIFA , which sees India as “ the sleeping giant of world football “.