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Sunil Chhetri’s mother and wife burst into tears after knowing about his retirement announcement | Football News

Sunil Chhetri’s mother, Sushila and wife, Sonam Bhattacharya, burst into tears the moment he informed them about his decision to retire from international football. Chhetri, a legendary footballer and the current captain of the team, said in a video message on Thursday, that the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6 would be his last in the blues, bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning nearly two decades.

Sunil Chhetri with his mother and wife
Sunil Chhetri with his mother and wife

Chhetri said that about a month and a half ago, when the thought came to him, he first informed his father, KB Chhetri, an ex-army man, his mother, and his wife. While his father was “relieved,” Chhetri was surprised to see his mother and wife cry.

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“…The moment I told myself first is when I started recollecting everything. I started thinking about this game, that game. Of this coach, that coach, that ground, that team member. This good game, that bad game. All my performances… all the flashes came.”

“So when I did decide this is going to be final game, I told my mom, my dad and my wife first. My dad was normal. He was relieved, happy. But my mom and wife strangely started crying,” Chhetri said fighting hard to hold back his tears.

The 39-year-old said his wife, daughter of former India footballer and renowned coach Subrata Bhattacharya, and mother Sushila, an ex-Nepal international, could not explain the reasons for their sudden burst of emotions.

“I told them, you always used to bug me saying ‘there are too many games, there’s too much of pressure on me’ and now that I’m retiring… I’m not gonna play for the country anymore… And even they couldn’t express to me as to why they burst into tears,” Chhetri said.

Chhetri had made his 150th appearance for India in March and scored on the occasion against Afghanistan in Guwahati. India, though, lost that game 1-2.

‘I was not feeling tired, it was just the instinct’: Sunil Chhetri

Chhetri, who made his debut in 2005, has scored 94 goals for the country. He will leave the scene as India’s all-time top scorer and most-capped player. He is also third in the list of goal scorers among active players behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“It’s not that I was feeling tired. I was feeling this or that. When the instinct came that this should be my last game, I thought about it a lot and eventually I came to this decision.”

The striker said he wants to enjoy his last few days with the Indian team.

“Will I be sad after this? Of course! Do I feel sad sometimes every day because of this? Yes! 20 days of training and it will all be gone. It took time because the kid inside me never wants to stop to play for his country if given a chance. So many amazing things have happened to me but nothing comes close to playing for the country. The kid in me kept fighting and probably it will keep fighting even in future but the mature player knew it, this was it. But it wasn’t easy.

“Every training with the national team that I do now, I just wanna enjoy it. This game demands pressure but I don’t feel it. It is against Kuwait, we need three points to qualify for the next round. It’s hugely important for us but in a very strange and nice way, I don’t feel the pressure.”

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