LONDON: In something that normally doesn’t happen, Indian football team captain received a congratulatory message from English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur for equalling Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas’ tally of 84 international goals.
By scoring India’s second goal in their final AFC Asian Cup Qualifying game against Afghanistan on Tuesday, Chhetri drew level with Puskas while becoming the fifth-highest international goal scorer of all time.
He now stands just two goals behind Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi’s tally of 86 goals.
“Congratulations to India’s @chetrisunil11 for equalling the great Ferenc Puskas with his tally of 84 international goals! #IndianFootball,” Tottenham Hotspur wrote on their Twitter handle.
The North London-based club finished fourth in the 2021-22 EPL season with 71 points.
Manchester City were crowned champions.
The 37-year-old Chhetri is the third-highest goal scorer in international football among active players, a list that is led by Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has so far scored 117 goals for the national team.
In an illustrious career, Chhetri has represented the Indian team in 129 games so far.
When asked about his record, the Indian captain said, “I genuinely don’t care about records and personal milestones. I just want to enjoy myself as I move on to the last moments just go out and enjoy on the pitch.”
This is the first time that India has qualified for back-to-back editions of the AFC Asia Cup.
Overall, it will be India’s fifth appearance in the top continental tournament The 2023 edition will feature 24 teams.
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