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Sunil Chhetri's father reveals his son once considered joining the NDA

As Sunil Chhetri prepares for his final international match, his father, Kharga Chhetri, reminisces about the time when Sunil almost joined the National Defence Academy. Reflecting on the journey that led Sunil to become one of football's greats, Kharga shares how a tour of Pakistan cemented Sunil’s dedication to the sport.

Sunil Chhetri's father reveals his son once considered joining the NDA osf
First Published Jun 6, 2024, 11:40 PM IST

Sunil Chhetri's father, Kharga Chhetri, shared that Sunil was close to taking the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam and joining the armed forces, even after making his club debut. Ahead of Chhetri's final international match on June 6, Kharga revealed how a tour of Pakistan convinced Sunil that football was his true calling.

Kharga explained that due to his army background, he wanted Sunil to either join the defence forces via the NDA exam or attend the prestigious St. Stephen's College in Delhi.

"Even after leaving Bagan and joining JCT, he wasn’t very happy initially. He still considered taking his NDA exam and was in Punjab with his books while playing in the league for JCT," Kharga told the Indian Express.

"But it was when he got into the Indian team, played under Sukhwinder Singh, and made his debut against Pakistan that he finally realized football was his life."

Chhetri's decision to pursue football proved fruitful as he scored 94 goals for India, making him the third-highest active goal-scorer after Cristiano Ronaldo (128) and Lionel Messi (106). He is also the fourth-highest all-time top scorer in men's international football, trailing only Ronaldo, Ali Daei (109), and Messi. He will retire as the second-highest goal-scorer from Asia, cementing his legendary status.

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