Indian Legends have inspired the frontman
Ronaldo, Christian Vieri, Gabriel Batistuta, these were all world class strikers when Sunil Chhetri was growing up, but the 29-year old chose players closer to home as his idols.
Speaking to the AIFF, according to Goal India, goal machine Chhetri spoke about the players that inspired him as he was climbing through the ranks of Indian football.
” I wasn’t that fortunate enough to play alongside I.M. Vijayan. But I have been fortunate enough to have watched many of his matches and he is undoubtedly one of the most gifted players India has ever had.”
Vijayan (who retired in 2004) stands like Chhetri on 40 goals for his country, Bhaichung Bhutia who currently works for the AIFF Technical Committe ,was the other man India’s star striker looked upto.
” I have been fortunate enough to have played alongside Bhaichung-bhai and I owe a lot to him. He has been a great mentor to me with his teachings both on and off the field. He has helped me a lot to evolve both as a player and as a professional footballer.”
Chhetti is expected to pass Bhutia’s record during next months SAFF Championship in Nepal.
India the holders, have been drawn with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.