Sunil Chhetri’s heartfelt farewell message goes viral after final international game

The 39-year-old ended his career as the fourth-highest goal scorer in men’s international football

By Web Desk
June 07, 2024
Sunil Chhetri burst into tears in his last match against Kuwait. -Instagram/chetri_sunil11

Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri shared an emotional message after playing his last international match against Kuwait on Thursday (June 6) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati stadium in Salt Lake, Kolkata.

However, India’s 0-0 draw against Kuwait was not an ideal end to Sunil’s 19-year-long career. In order to advance in the next stage of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers, it was essential for India to win this match.

Moreover, Sunil Chhetri burst into tears with the final whistle as the 58,000 fans in the stadium cheered the legend over his performance.

The 39-year-old ended his career as the fourth-highest goal scorer in men’s international football with his 94 goals following Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Ali Daei.

Meanwhile, Chhetri’s farewell letter to the media is going viral over the social media. In his letter he praised the media for playing a key role in his career. 

"Over the last 19 years, I've had the opportunity to interact with so many of you, on more than a few occasions. There were times when I had to say a lot less than I would have liked to, and others where I responded to your questions with long monologues. There were the answers laced with frustration, the ones that were - much to your annoyance - non-committal, and then the press conferences that ended in a hurry. But through it all, I'd like to believe that 1 was always honest with you. And that I always chose to have a conversation with you, even if it risked making headlines for reasons beyond those that I would have liked. I wanted to - by way of this letter and this occasion - thank you for playing the role you did in telling my story," Chhetri's letter read.

"Thank you for the love and adulation you have shown me through your prose and photographs. But most importantly, thank you for the times when you've been honest in your assessment of the way I've played or carried myself. Yours isn't an easy job, but a really important one. And now is as good a time as any to acknowledge it. Keep telling stories of Indian football - the good, the not po good, but mostly the ones with genuine promise and hope. We need it now more than ever. You had, and will always have, the best seats in the house. I just hope that, over these 19 years, I have made that experience just a little more special. Maybe I’ll join your dugout for a game or two. Signing off with gratitude," the letter added.