India’s football icon Sunil Chhetri feels he is into the bonus period of his long career and is not sure about hanging his boots yet. The veteran said he is enjoying this phase of his career and wants to keep going strong at the top level.
Chhetri has played 143 matches for the Blue Tigers since making his debut in 2005 against Pakistan. Since then he has scored 93 goals, the most by an Indian. He is currently the third highest international football goal-scorer, behind legendary players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
“I’m just happy that I’m here. This is the bonus period. I’m just enjoying it. I don’t know when it’s going to end. I just want to enjoy it,” Chhetri said ahead of India’s 2026 World Cup second-round qualifiers matches later this month.
“Because I’m 39, I don’t have long-term targets as far as me being on the pitch is concerned. I think about the next three months, and then the next three months, and then we see how it goes,” he was quoted as saying by fifa.com.
The 39-year-old has scored two goals in four matches of the ongoing Indian Super League for Bengaluru FC and thus he has been in decent form.
Chhetri will be 42 when the 2026 World Cup will be played and the veteran might not be around then. However, if India qualifies for the quadrennial tournament, it will be a huge thing in Indian football.
India have been drawn into Group A of 2026 World Cup second-round qualifiers matches, which includes Qatar, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. The Blue Tigers will travel to Kuwait on November 16 before facing Qatar in Bhubaneswar on November 21.