Indian Football

Chhetri joins Messi as second highest goalscorer in internationals among active players

The Indian captain scored a brace against Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup final.

Talismanic Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri on Sunday became the joint second highest international goal scorer among active players along with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi with his 64th strike against Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup summit clash at Mumbai.

Chhetri, who had come into the match with 62 goals, gave India the lead in the eighth minute before scoring the second goal in the 29th minute to put him on par with Messi. He chested down a long pass from Anas Edathodika between two Kenyan defenders before firing in a low left-footer just inside the box that beat goalkeeper Patrick Matasi all ends up.

The 33-year-old Chhetri, who was playing in his 102nd international match, and Messi are behind leader and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who has 81 goals from 150 matches.

Chhetri and Messi are currently in joint 21st in the all-time list of goal scorers. The Indian is just one goal away from equalling former Chelsea and Ivory Coast stalwart Didier Drogba (65 from 104 matches).

When asked about his feat post-match, Chhetri said, with what could be described as a wry smile on his face as the question was being asked, “There’s no comparison with Messi, I am his fan. I am just happy to be scoring for the country.”

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