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Sunil Chhetri gets guard of honour as he bids adieu to international football after 19 yrs; WATCH viral video

Legendary Sunil Chhetri's final international match ended in disappointment as India were held to a goalless draw by visiting Kuwait in their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Thursday. 

football Sunil Chhetri gets guard of honour as he bids adieu to international football after 19 yrs; WATCH viral video snt
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First Published Jun 6, 2024, 9:38 PM IST

Legendary Sunil Chhetri's final international match ended in disappointment as India were held to a goalless draw by visiting Kuwait in their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Thursday. In a country starved of major footballing achievements, it was not the ideal farewell for a player who had inspired a new era for football fans in this region.

The result leaves India in a precarious position for advancing to the third round of qualifiers. Following the draw, India has accumulated five points and will face Asian champions Qatar in their final match on June 11. Kuwait, with four points, will play against Afghanistan on the same day.

Chhetri, after being intrinsically tied to Indian football for 19 years, was seen in tears after the final whistle of the clash was blown. A sea of blue, with most fans donning Chhetri's No. 11 jersey, erupted at the Salt Lake Stadium as the long-serving India captain bid drew curtains to his international career.

Chhetri also received a guard of honour from his teammates and the Indian football team staff, who cheered the legend as he was accompanied by his parents, Kharga and Sushila, and his wife, Sonam Bhattacharya, for his final appearance.

With 94 goals so far, the 39-year-old Chhetri is set to retire as the fourth highest in the all-time list of goal-scorers in international football behind Cristiano Ronaldo (128), Ali Daei (108) and Lionel Messi (106).

This remarkable achievement for a player from India was recognized by FIFA when Chhetri announced his international retirement on May 16.

Chhetri will continue playing club football for "two more years." He has a contract with the Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC until next year.

Chhetri scored in his debut match against Pakistan on June 12, 2005, in a 1-1 draw in Quetta, but did not find the net on Thursday, despite the game also ending in a draw. He had a quiet performance throughout the match.

Several fans took to social media to thank Chhetri for his contribution towards the sport. Here's a look at some of the reactions:

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