Watch: Fans Turn Up in Big Numbers for Sunil Chhetri’s 100th Match
The football fans seemed to have listened to Sunil Chhetri’s heartfelt message.
The Indian players will aim to gift their skipper Sunil Chhetri a memorable 100th international match when they face Kenya in an Intercontinental Cup tie in Mumbai on Monday.
India sit pretty at the top of the four-team table after their facile 5-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in the opening match of the football tournament. Kenya are second thanks to their 2-1 win over New Zealand on Saturday.
"I had a dream but never dreamt of playing 100 international matches. This is unbelievable," Chhetri said prior to India's practice session at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Sunday.
"Honestly, I never think much about milestones. It was only when I was having a chat with my mom the other night that she became a bit emotional. How big it was for her made me realise how big the occasion is," he added.
Sunil Chhetri made an impassioned plea to all the fans of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo – "abuse us, criticise us but please come to watch the Indian national team play."
The football fans seemed to have listened to the captain’s words and have turned up in big numbers ahead of the match against Kenya.
Chhetri is the second Indian after former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia to achieve the feat. Bhutia, who represented the country from 1995 to 2011, played 104 international matches, scoring 40 goals.
I need to thank my parents, friends, family, all my coaches, players, fans, media for their support in my journey in being able to be the second person in history to play 100 international matches for my country. It feels special. I just feel I will be able to keep my emotions under control, play the game as we should, stick to the plan and try to win the game for the country.Sunil Chhetri
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