Sunil Chhetri: No comparison with Lionel Messi, he is of different level
Sunil Chhetri equaled Messi's tally of 64 international goals with a stunning brace to help India beat Kenya 2-0 and clinch the Intercontinental Cup at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday
Indian football men's team captain Sunil Chhetri on Monday ruled out his comparison with star striker Lionel Messi, saying that the Argentinean is of an entirely different level.
The 33-year-old equaled Messi's tally of 64 international goals with a stunning brace to help India beat Kenya 2-0 and clinch the Intercontinental Cup at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. Chhetri was impressive throughout the prestigious tournament, having notched up a total of eight goals--including a hat-trick against Chinese Taipei.
He smashed two goals against Kenya during his 100th international match, while his one goal came against New Zealand in the last Intercontinental Cup game. On being questioned regarding the statistics, Chhetri told ANI that he doesn't take comparison seriously while adding that he is just satisfied to contribute 64 goals to his country.
"I don't take the comparison seriously. Messi is of a different level. I'm just happy that I have scored 64 goals for my country," Chhetri said. Meanwhile, Chhetri also acknowledged the support that his side had received during the finals of the Intercontinental Cup.
"Happy for everyone who was on the pitch and off the pitch. If we get support from people like we got in Mumbai, we'll give everything for India. It is really motivating when the stadium is jam-packed," Chhetri, who struck two sublime strikes in the seventh and the 29th minute, said following the win.
The Indian football team skipper also reflected his views on his emotional appeal to fans wherein he urged them to watch and support the team ahead of their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Kenya in their second match of the Intercontinental Cup. Talking about the same, Chhetri insisted that he was happy that the fans understood and came in to support the Indian side.
"I wasn't thinking anything. It was something that came to my mind. I am happy that people understood it and I was really happy to get such support," he said. In the list of active international goalscorers, Chhetri is now standing just behind Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo--who is sitting atop with 81 goals in 124 appearances.
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