Indian Football

Sunil Chhetri breaks Pele's international goal-scoring record

By Amreen
Chhetri broke Pele's record with a brace against the Maldives
Chhetri broke Pele's record with a brace against the Maldives / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Indian football captain, Sunil Chhetri, scored a brace against the Maldives in a must-win game, led his side into the finals of the SAFF Championship, and in the process broke Pele's international goal record.

Brazil legend Pele scored 77 goals on an international level, and Chhetri drew level with his first goal in the 62nd minute. The Bengaluru FC skipper scored again in the 71st minute to go past Pele, and see his side through to the final against Nepal on October 16.

Chhetri is now the third-highest currently active international goal-scorer, and is just one goal behind Lionel Messi (80). Portugal and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with 115 goals.

Chhetri is now joint sixth on the list of all-time top international goal-scorers. Speaking after the game, the 37-year-old said: "I keep getting asked about my consistency, and I wish I had an answer. But the truth is, there is no blueprint. It's more about wanting to turn up every single day and give it my best, which, thankfully, I've never fallen short of.

"I have been extremely lucky to have played with some great footballers who don't get enough credit. I've learned something from every single coach I have played for. It's the coming together of many things -- big and small -- and I hope to keep doing it in the foreseeable future.

"It might sound like a lie, but I've never given my future as a footballer any thought. As I said, the one thing I probably do the best is wake up and turn up to train and play. I look forward to it, thoroughly enjoy it and haven't ever wanted to stop doing it.

"My future plan with football is literally what my next training session will look like. I am fortunate enough to have a support system around me that makes sure I don't need to think or worry about anything that isn't football. It just makes it all the easier to love what I do."