Sunil Chhetri announces retirement and will play final match for India on June 6

File photo of Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri.©AFP

Indian football icon Sunil Chhetri on Thursday announced his decision to retire from international football after the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6, ending a glorious career of two decades. The long-time national team captain announced his decision via a video he posted on his social media accounts. India are currently second in Group A with four points, behind leaders Qatar.

“The feeling I remember over the last 19 years is a very beautiful combination of duty, pressure and immense joy,” Chhetri, 39, said while announcing his decision to retire.

“I never thought that individually, these are the matches I played for the country, this is what I did good, I did bad. But now I have done it , the last two and a half months, it was very strange,” he said. “I did it because I was going to decide that the next match would be my last.”

“Every training I do with the national team, I just want to enjoy it. The match against Kuwait requires pressure, we need the three points to qualify for the next round. This is extremely important for us” , said the captain.

“But strangely, I don't feel pressure because these 15-20 days with the national team and the match against Kuwait are the last,” he added.

Chhetri had made his 150th appearance for India in March and scored on that occasion against Afghanistan in Guwahati. India, however, lost that match 1-2.

Chhetri, who made his debut in 2005, has scored 94 goals for the country. He will leave the stage as India's all-time top scorer and most capped player. He is also third in the goalscoring list among active players behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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