Indian Football team captain Sunil Chhetri on June 7, 2021, became the second-highest active international goal scorer after he overtook Argentina’s star footballer Lionel Messi in the preliminary round match for FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Joint Qualifiers.
Chhetri helped India achieve its first win in six years in FIFA World Cup qualifiers after defeating Bangladesh 2-0 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 (Qatar as the host nation) and AFC Asian Cup 2023 (China as the host nation) Joint Qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium at Al Sadd Club in Doha.
Chhetri, 36, made both the goals in the second half of the matches, one in the 79th and another at the 92nd minutes.
Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation tweeted to congratulate Chhetri, “Our Indian Football skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goal scorer with 74 goals.”
Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals. A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future pic.twitter.com/kzpgCQbXEp
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel)
June 7, 2021
Chhetri now has a score of 74 goals, two more than Messi. He now only stands behind the Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo with 103 goals in the list of footballers with the most international goals. While Ali Mabkhout, UAE footballer stands third on this list with 73 goals so far.
With this record win, India reaches the third sport in Group E with 6 points from 7 games. India will next compete against Afghanistan in the Qualifiers on June 15, 2021. India is already out of contention for the qualifiers for FIFA World Cup 2022 but the Blue Tigers can still content to qualify for AFC Asian Cup.