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Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Time draws close for Chhetri's final hurrah

PIX: Time draws close for Chhetri's final hurrah

By REDIFF SPORTS
May 30, 2024 13:20 IST
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Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri trains in Kolkata on Wednesday

IMAGE: Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri trains in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunil Chhetri/Instagram

The India football team landed in the Mecca of Indian football on Wednesday, with their sights set on the crucial FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait on June 6 at the Salt Lake Stadium.

 

The match has a marked significance considering it will mark the final international appearance of legendary captain Sunil Chhetri.

Sunil Chhetri with his teammates on arriving in Kolkata on Wednesday

IMAGE: Sunil Chhetri with his teammates on arriving in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunil Chhetri/Instagram

Any India match in the City of Joy draws much fanfare. However, this is not just any international match as with three points the Blue Tigers will take a giant leap towards a first-ever appearance in Round 3 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers, while also inching closer to automatic qualification for the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027.

Sunil Chhetri at practice 

But all sights will be trained on one man -- Sunil Chhetri.

Earlier this month he announced that June 6 would be his last appearance in the international arena.

Sunil Chhetri at ptactice

The India skipper, ahead of the team's travel from Bhubaneswar, where the Blue Tigers had been training for more than two weeks, to Kolkata, wrote on his social media platforms that he is counting his blessings everyday.

Chhetri, who has scored 94 goals from 150 international appearances and the other 26 around him will now continue their training camp in Kolkata, where they will have their first on-field training session on Thursday, May 30.

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