Sunil Chhetri will receive an honor for his 150th international appearance ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying match

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Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri, the leader of the Indian Men’s National team, will be honored by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for playing his 150th Senior International match in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier on March 26.

After tying with Afghanistan in the away leg, India will host the match at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium in Guwahati. This round is also part of the second round of preliminary joint qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2027.

“It’s been an inspiring journey that all of us have been lucky to witness since 2005. Chhetri playing his 150th international match is an incredible achievement that will keep the Indian football flag flying high,” said Kalyan Chaubey, the president of AIFF.

Chhetri first wore the Senior National Team jersey on June 12, 2005, in a friendly match against Pakistan in Quetta. He also scored in the 1-1 draw.

Sunil Chhetri (Credits: ESPN)

Since then, he has played 149 games for the National Team, scoring a record 93 goals. Chhetri holds the unique record of scoring at least one goal in his first, 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th, and 125th match for the Blue Tigers.

He is also the third-highest active goalscorer (93 goals) in international football, just behind Cristiano Ronaldo (128 goals) and Lionel Messi (106 goals). “For many football fans, Chhetri is almost synonymous with the Indian Men’s National Team, which is not far from the truth.

He is an outstanding footballer, a composed captain, and a star striker,” said M Satyanarayan, the Acting General Secretary of AIFF.

“The All India Football Federation is honored to recognize him on his 150th international match. We sincerely hope Chhetri will continue to serve Indian football with the same passion in the future.”

Kai Soriano

By Kai Soriano

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