Indian Football

Sunil Chhetri is No.1: 10 Records Held by India's Footballing Superstar

Arjun Singh Devgan
Sunil Chhetri is the most recognisable football player in India
Sunil Chhetri is the most recognisable football player in India / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

India's national team skipper, Sunil Chhetri is the biggest name in the country when it comes to football, with the striker the biggest superstar and an icon for the youth. The 36-year-old holds a slew of records and here we take a look at the 10 records he holds in international and club football.

1) Most Appearances for India
Chhetri holds the record for most appearances for India with 115 to his name so far, with Bhaichung Bhutia coming in second with 107. The striker will no doubt add to his tally in the future as he comes to the twilight of his illustrious career.

2) India's All-Time International Goalscorer
The striker is India's all-time highest goalscorer with 72 goals in 115 games. Chhetri lso the second-highest active goal scorer in world football after Cristiano Ronaldo.

3) Most AIFF Player of the Year Awards
Since the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had started the Player of the Year Award in 1992, no player has ever won it more than Sunil Chhetri. The Bengaluru FC star has bagged the award six times.

4) Most Number of Hat-tricks for India
The superstar has netted the most number of hat-tricks for India with three to his name. His first-ever hat-trick was against Tajikistan in the AFC Challenge Cup final in 2008 which India won 4-1. The second one came against Vietnam in an international friendly match which Indian won 3-1 and the last one was against Chinese Taipei in the Intercontinental Cup in 2018. India had won the tie 5-0.

5) Highest Indian Goalscorer in ISL
Chhetri is the highest Indian goalscorer in Indian Super League (ISL) history, netting 47 goals. He is also the second highest goal scorer overall in the league's history.

6) Highest Indian Goalscorer in the I-League
The 36-year-old is the all-time highest goalscorer in the I-League history with 90 goals. He has played for a number of clubs during his career including Mohun Bagan, JCT FC, Dempo SC, United Sports Club and Bengaluru FC.

7) Most Number of Hat-tricks by an Indian in ISL
Chhetri has currently scored two hat-tricks in the ISL so far, with his first one coming against NorthEast United in 2015 and the second came against FC Pune City in 2017/18.

8) First Indian Player to Score a Hat-trick in the ISL
The striker also became the first ever Indian to score a hat-trick in the ISL, by achieving that feat against NorthEast United while playing for Mumbai City FC in 2015.

9) Only Indian Player to Have Played in Three Different Continents
He is the only Indian player to play in three different continents, which includes Asia, stints with Sporting Club de Portugal in Europe and Kansas City Wizards in North America.

10) Most Goals by an Indian in AFC Competitions
The striker has netted has scored 19 goals so far in AFC Cup and AFC Champions qualifiers, the most by an Indian player. He has appeared in 31 AFC Cup matches and two AFC Champions League (ACL) qualifying game for Churchill Brothers and Bengaluru FC.