Despite the never-ending questions about his retirement, inspirational Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri declared on Wednesday that he will not be hanging up his boots anytime soon since his desire to play remains intact, despite the fact that finding motivation can be difficult at times. The 36-year-old, who scored two excellent goals to lead India to a 2-0 victory over Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier match in Doha on Monday, also refused to set any long-term ambitions.
“I’m not planning on putting my boots away. Here, I’m not being arrogant. I’m having a good time with my football. I’ve never been in better shape than I am now. I’m 36 years old, but I still have the desire to play for my country “In an online conversation from Doha, Chhetri stated.
“Many people have inquired as to my age and how long I want to continue. I am unconcerned. I accept that people will have differing viewpoints. I’ll leave the day I don’t enjoy football; I won’t be there.”
He claims that as he gets older, he is more conscious of his game and knows exactly what works for him.
“The only challenging aspect is motivating yourself. The older you become and the more you accomplish, the less motivated you get.”
On Tuesday, India coach Igor Stimac praised Chhetri, saying he trains and plays like a 25-year-old.
With his 74th goal for the country in his 117th encounter, Chhetri surpassed Argentine maestro Lionel Messi as the second most prolific scorer among active footballers.
He, on the other hand, dismissed any comparisons to Messi or other players in that category.
“This comparison does not irritate me, but in my opinion, there is no comparison between Messi and any other player in that category. Thousands of players are better than me. People who understand football are well-versed in the sport “he stated
“I am proud of the 74 goals I have scored for my country. I’ll give it my all till the very last match I play.”