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Chhetri reveals reason behind retirement, explains why he will not play against Qatar

New Delhi : India football skipper Sunil Chhetri has further elaborated on his retirement announcement that preceded earlier on Thursday. The all time top scorer of the country revealed that “it’s been a month” since he has decided to call it quits on his international career.

“It’s been a month. It started with a feeling and an instinct that it was time to call it a day. And it grew in me slowly and steadily every day. Finally, I reached this decision. And I think I made the right decision. This (match against Kuwait on June 6, 2024) is one of the biggest games of my career. It is hugely important for the National Team. So, hopefully, we will do well against Kuwait and should be there for the (World Cup Qualifiers) third round,” said the Indian football team captain to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

Many questions arose as to why Chhetri decided to retire after the game against Kuwait on June 6 and not wait until the June 11 qualifier match against Qatar, which could potentially decide whether India will be moving to the next round or not.

“We’re playing at home, that’s in Salt Lake. It will not be the same. And I’m pretty confident this way or that way. Even if you need some points against Qatar, our team is quite capable. I think my team is ready. So, everything combined to make me decide that June 6 is my last game for the country,” he added.

He made his debut for the national team in 2005 and went on to have a glorious 19 year career with the team which saw him become the top scorer and also garner the most appearances. He further went on to talk about his entire journey.

“It’s outstanding. It’s a dream. I don’t know where to start. But the synopsis is that it’s a beautiful dream. I think I’m highly, highly fortunate and privileged to be a part of the national team for 19 years. It’s outstanding to be able to participate and play for the country. This is something no one can take away from me. I’m grateful to everyone who has contributed. And I’m not trying to sound cliche, I genuinely mean it. That’s the feeling that I get,” concluded the third highest active international goal scorer.

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