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Indian Footballer Sunil Chhetri Just Beat Messi to Become the Second Highest International Goal Scorer

The veteran Indian forward just took his tally up to 70 goals.

by Shamani Joshi
09 July 2019, 11:22am

Photo: Wikimedia commons

A version of this article originally appeared on VICE IN.

Indians may be crazy about their cricket, but when it comes to football they're yet to find their footing. That’s why Indian captain Sunil Chhetri's latest achievement is fairly remarkable.

At the opening match of the Intercontinental Cup 2019 against Tajikistan at the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad on Sunday, the 7th of July, Chhetri shot and scored to become the second highest active international goal scorer. This is the second time the veteran Indian forward has overtaken Argentinian football legend and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi in the international scoring scene.

He scored two goals during this match, taking his total tally up to 70, compared to Messi's 68. The 34-year-old footballer is now only second to Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 88 goals to his name. He managed to score one goal during a "panenka" penalty and got the other one in just before half-time.

Having played 109 games representing India internationally, Chhetri is also one of the country’s most capped players. He's now 13th on the list of all-time highest international goal scorers, and even though India ended up losing the match against Tajikistan, Chhetri's achievements have given India's aspiring footballers someone to look up to.

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Sunil Chhetri