Although it is hard to imagine Indian football without skipper Sunil Chhetri, the truth is it is not going to last forever. And the Indian talisman has suggested that a decision around hanging up his boots will happen soon but not for the next few years. While reflecting on his illustrious career on Thursday, the 37-year-old admitted that "it is going to end soon" while also categorically mentioning that he will be around at least for the coming few years.
Chhetri recently surpassed the Brazilian legend Pele in the record for the number of international goals when he scored in the ongoing SAFF Championships match against hosts Maldives on Wednesday. In what looks like to be the autumn of Chhetri's career, his achievements go way beyond the football stadiums as he remains one of India's shining ambassadors of the sport, inspiring generations to take up football and excel in it.
Dost khade ho ja, bahut kam time bhacha hai: Chhetri's mantra
"It's a fact that it (career) is going to end soon," the Bengaluru FC star was quoted as saying in a PTI report.
"Now I have got a very simple mantra. Dost khade ho ja, bahut kam time bhacha hai, bahut kam game bache hue hain, chup chaap ja aur apna best de. Thoda time pe khatam hone wala hai (I tell myself that there is very little time left, there are very few games left, go quietly give your best. It is going to end in some time)," he added.
He said that the very fact that there are few matches left further motivates him to try and put up his best show in every match. He said that he would want to pick himself up since there is limited time left in his career on the pitch.
"Stop crying, stop rejoicing, stop over-celebrating, stop putting yourself down because all these will end very soon. Right now I will pick myself up, go there and try to give my best because I know it's a fact that it's going to end soon," he said.
Notably, Chhetri is the third-highest international goal-scorer among active players only behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Lionel Messi.