Sunil Chhetri is an Indian professional football player who plays as a striker or winger and captains both the Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC and the India national team. He is popularly known as “Captain Fantastic”. He started playing football for the youth team of City Football Club in 2001. He began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002. He has previously played for JCT, East Bengal, Dempo, Kansas City Wizards, Chirag United, Sporting CP B, Churchill Brothers (loan), Bengaluru, and Mumbai City.
On the international level, he has represented India at various age levels. He has represented India at U20 and the senior level. He made his international team debut on 12 August 2005. He helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup as well as the 2011 and 2015 SAFF Championship. He was also helped India win the 2008 APF Challenge Cup, which qualified them to their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years, scoring twice in the final tournament in 2011. He was also helped India win the 2017, 2018 Intercontinental Cup. He has also been named AIFF Player of the Year a record six times in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018-19. Since making his debut, he has obtained over 110 caps and scored over 70 for India where he is the second-highest international goalscorer among active players, after Cristiano Ronaldo and 10th-highest of all time, as of June 2021. He is both the most-capped player and all-time top goalscorer for his national team.
What is Sunil Chhetri Famous For?
- Being a professional football player.
- Won the 2009-10 I-League with Dempo.
- Won the 2012-13 I-League with Churchill Brothers.
- Won the 2013-14, 2015-16 I-League with Bengaluru.
- Won the 2018 Super Cup with Bengaluru.
- Won 2014-15, 2016-17 Indian Federation Cup with Bengaluru.
- Won the 2018-19 Indian Super League with Bengaluru.
- Won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup with India.
- Won 2011, 2015 SAFF Championship with India.
- Won 2007, 2009, 2012 Nehru Cup with India.
- Won the 2017, 2018 Intercontinental Cup with India.
- Won 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018-19 AIFF Player of the Year.
- Won 2009, 2018 FPAI Indian Player of the Year.
- Won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup Most Valuable Player.
- Won the 2011 SAFF Championship Player of the Tournament.
- Won the 2016-17 Hero of the I-League.
- Won the 2017-18 Hero of the Indian Super League.
- Won the 2018 Hero of the Intercontinental Cup.
- Won the 2019 Football Ratna Award (first recipient) by Delhi Football Association.
- Won the 2011 Arjun Award by the Government of India in recognition of his outstanding achievement in sports.
- Won the 2019 Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award.
Where is Sunil Chhetri From?
Sunil Chhetri was born on 3 August 1984. His birthplace is Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. He was born to his father, K.B. Chhetri, and his mother, Sushila Chhetri where he grew up with his sister, Bandana Chhetri. His father, K.B. Chhetri was an officer in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers of the Indian Army who also played football for the Indian Army’s team while his mother and her twin sisters played for the Nepal national team. Growing up, he attended two different schools. Initially, he went to Bahai School, located at Gangtok. Then as he moved from one place to another because of his father’s profession, the athlete later joined Army Public School in New Delhi. He holds Indian nationality. He belongs to mixed ethnicity. His religion is Hinduism. His horoscope sign is Leo.
Sunil Chhetri Club Career
- He started playing football for the youth team of City Football Club in 2001.
- He began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002. In his first season, he had scored 4 goals as Mohun Bagan finished in seventh place in the table.
- In his 2003-04 season, he scored only two goals as Mohun Bagan once again finished in the bottom half of the table, in ninth place.
- During his 2004-05 season, he again scored only two goals as this time Mohun Bagan finished eighth in the league and remained in the National Football League on goal difference.
- In 2005, he signed for JCT for 2005-06. In his first season, he scored three goals as JCT finished the season in sixth place in the table.
- During his 2006-07 season, he scored a total of 11 goals in the league for JCT as the club finished in second place, behind Dempo.
- During the very first season of the I-League, he scored 7 goals as JCT finished the season in third place. Midway through that season though, in December 2007, he was awarded the AIFF Player of the Year award for 2007 for his excellent form and performances for his club and country.
- In 2008, he signed with fellow I-League side East Bengal. On 26 September 2008, he scored on his debut for East Bengal in a 3-1 win against Chirag United. During his 2008-09, he made 14 appearances and scored 9 goals for the club.
- On 22 May 2009, he signed a two-year contract with another fellow I-League side Dempo with a clause that allowed him to leave for trials abroad in the future. During his 2009-10 season, he made 13 appearances and scored 8 goals for the club as he helped Dempo to win the 2009-10 I-League.
- On 30 August 2009, as per a report by Hindustan Times, he signed a three-year contract with the English Football League Championship side Queens Park Rangers but was denied a work permit by the British government as India was not in the top 70 of the FIFA World Rankings.
- On 24 March 2010, he signed Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer (MLS), becoming the first Indian to play in MLS and the third to play outside Asia. On 14 April 2010, he made his debut for the club in a 1-2 loss against Colorado Rapids in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualification play-in game in which he started but ended up with a yellow card and was substituted out of the game at half-time. On 25 July 2010, he made an appearance for the Wizards in a 2-1 win against United, coming on as a substitute for Teal Bunbury in the 69th minute.
- On 25 July 2010, it was announced that Chhetri will be competing for the Indian National Team till the end of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. On 5 February 2011, he officially left the team.
- On 10 February 2011, he was signed by Chirag United for the 2010-11 season. On 3 April 2011, he scored his first goal for Chirag United in a 4-2 win against his former club Dempo. During that season, he made 7 appearances and scored 7 goals for the club.
- In July 2011, he re-joined I-League club Mohun Bagan on a one-year deal where he made 14 appearances and scored 8 goals for the club.
- On 4 July 2012, he signed a two-year contract with Sporting Lisbon and would play as a reserve team member. On 30 September 2012, he made his debut for Sporting CP B in a 2-0 win against SC Freamunde in a Segunda Liga. In his first season, he made 3 appearances in all the competitions.
- On 13 February 2013, he was loaned out to Churchill Brothers in the I-League for the remainder of the season. On 26 February 2013, he made his debut for Churchill Brothers in a 3-0 loss against Kitchee in the AFC Cup. On 12 March 2013, he scored his first goal for Churchill Brothers in a 2-2 draw against Semen Padang. During his loan spell at Churchill Brothers, he had scored 4 goals in 8 matches as he helped Churchill Brothers to their second-ever I-League title.
- On 19 July 2013, following his release from Sporting Lisbon, he signed with new direct-entry I-League side Bengaluru for the 2013-14 season. On 22 September 2013, he made his debut for the club in their opening game in a 1-1 draw against his former club Mohun Bagan. On 29 September 2013, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3-0 win against Rangdajied United. In his first season, he made 22 appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals and providing 7 assists in all the competitions as he led Bengaluru FC to their first-ever I-League title in its debut season.
- During his 2014-15 season, he made 38 appearances and scored 13 goals for the club in all the competitions as he helped Bengaluru FC to win the 2014-15 Indian Federation Cup.
- In 2015, he was picked up by Mumbai City during the 2015 Indian Super League for Rs. 1.2 crores, making him the most expensive Indian player at the auctions. There he made history, becoming the first Indian player to score a hat-trick, in his fourth game of the season, against NorthEast United and taking his total of the season to 6 goals in 4 games. He was the top scorer for Mumbai City for that season as he poached 7 goals.
- On 1 January 2016, he was loaned out to Bengaluru FC for the 2015-16 I-League season where he ended up scoring 5 times in the league, thus helping his team win the league title for the second time in three years.
- He then again came back in Mumbai colors for 2016’s ISL season, the team did well this time as they reached playoffs for the first time, but national commitments & less game time with the likes of Diego Forlan & Sony Norde kept him away from the score sheet.
- On 9 June 2016, Bengaluru announced that he had signed a one-year contract at the club, thus reverting his ownership rights to the club from Mumbai City. He scored twice as Bengaluru won the 2016 AFC Cup Semi-Final tie by beating Johor Darul Ta’zim in Bengaluru. During his 2016-17, he was part of the team that won the Indian Federation Cup that season.
- He scored 14 goals for the club in the 4th season of the Indian Super League and was also the Indian top scorer of the league. He became the second top scorer for Bengaluru in the league. He went on to win the ‘Hero of the League’. He Chhetri is currently ISL’s all-time leading Indian goal-scorer.
- On 15 February 2021, he became the first player to make 200 appearances for Bengaluru FC. On 25 February 2021, he scored his 100th goal for Bengaluru FC in the final league match of the 2020-21 ISL season against Jamshedpur FC.
Sunil Chhetri International Career
- He has represented India at various age levels.
- He has represented India at U20 and the senior level.
- On 30 March 2004, he played his first game for the Indian U-20 team in the 1-0 victory over the Pakistan U-23 team in the 2004 SAF Games in Pakistan.
- On 3 April 2004, he scored twice for the Indian U-20 team in a 4-1 victory against Bhutan U-23.
- He made his international team debut on 12 August 2005 in a 1-0 loss against Fiji.
- On 12 June 2005, he scored his first goal for the senior India national football team against Pakistan.
- He helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup as well as the 2011 and 2015 SAFF Championship.
- He was also helped India win the 2008 APF Challenge Cup, which qualified them to their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years, scoring twice in the final tournament in 2011.
- He was also helped India win the 2017, 2018 Intercontinental Cup.
- He has also been named AIFF Player of the Year a record six times in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018-19.
- Since making his debut, he has obtained over 110 caps and scored over 70 for India where he is the second-highest international goalscorer among active players, after Cristiano Ronaldo and 10th-highest of all time, as of June 2021.
- He is both the most-capped player and all-time top goalscorer for his national team.
Sunil Chhetri Wife
Looking at his personal life, Sunil Chhetri is a married man. He got married to his beautiful girlfriend, Sonam Bhattacharya. Sonam Bhattacharya is the daughter of Subrata Bhattacharya who was a former Indian National Football Player who also played from Mohun Bagan. Incidentally, Subrata Bhattacharya was the coach of Sunil Chhetri. During his multiple training sessions, Sunil came in contact with Sonam Bhattacharya, whom he eventually married on 4 December 2017. He is having an intimate relationship with his wife where they are living their life happily together.
Sunil Chhetri Height and Weight
Sunil Chhetri stands at a height of 1.70m i.e. 5 feet and 7 inches tall. He has a bodyweight of 70kg. He has an athletic body build. His eye color is dark brown and his hair color is black. His sexual orientation is straight.
Sunil Chhetri Net Worth and Salary
Sunil Chhetri earns from his professional career as a football player. His income is from contracts, salaries, bonuses, and endorsements. As of 2021, his estimated net worth is $570K and his salary is $11,000 per match. His market value is around €200 Th.