Chhetri is Indian Player-of-the-YearJune 13, 2018
The laurels still keep pouring in for India captain and football icon Sunil Chhetri.
Following the latest feat, where he equalled Lionel Messi as the joint second highest international goal-scorer among active players, Chhetri was voted by his peers as the best player of the country.
This came as Chhetri guided India to the Intercontinental Cup title scoring eight of India’s 11 goals in the tournament.
The country’s all-time leading goal-scorer sought to keep his focus on a good result in the Asian Cup, for which India has qualified for the main stage after seven years.
“We want to improve individually as players and as a team,” Chhetri said after he received the Indian Player-of-the-Year award instituted by the professional footballers’ body — Football Players Association of India — here on Tuesday evening. The India captain was voted the best by his I-League and ISL peers.
“How much ever we improve, it still may not be enough when it comes to doing well in the Asian Cup (which begins in the first week of January 2019). So, we need to really apply ourselves,” Chhetri said.
“We are a better team now. I hope we get even better when we start our campaign against sides like Bahrain, Thailand and the UAE,” he said.
When it came to his own feat and the comparison with Messi, Chhetri was quite modest.
“Please do not take it seriously. I am proud to have scored for my country and that is more important. I will be happy if I can score in the Asian Cup,” he said.
Other awardees: Young Player-of-the-Year: Jerry Mawihmingthanga (Jamshedpur FC); foreign Player-of-the-year: Miku (Bengaluru FC); fans’ Player-of-the-Year: Subhash Singh (NEROCA FC); Coach-of-the-Year: Albert Roca (Bengaluru FC).