Hunger intact, motivation the difficult part but not going wherever: Sunil Chhetri
The unending queries on retirement however, inspirational Indian soccer captain Sunil Chhetri on Wednesday mentioned he’s not hanging up his boots anytime quickly as his starvation to carry out remains to be intact regardless that discovering motivation might be difficult typically.
The 36-year-old, who scored two very good objectives in opposition to Bangladesh to steer India to a 2-0 win in the World Cup qualifier match in Doha on Monday, additionally avoided setting any long-term targets.
“I’m not thinking about hanging my boots. I’m not arrogant here. I am enjoying my football. I have never been fitter than now. I am 36 but the zeal and hunger of playing for the country is still there,” Chhetri mentioned in a web based interplay from Doha.
“A lot of people ask I am 36 and how long I will continue. I am not bothered. People will have opinions and I am fine with that. The day I don’t enjoy my football, I will go, I will not be there.”
He mentioned with age, he’s extra conscious of his sport than earlier than and is aware of precisely what works for him.
“The only difficult part is the motivation. The older you get and more you achieve, the motivation goes down.”
India coach Igor Stimac, on Tuesday, lavished reward on Chhetri saying that he trains and performs like a 25-year-old.
Chhetri went previous Argentine maestro Lionel Messi as the second most prolific scorer amongst energetic footballers along with his 74th strike for the nation in his 117th match.
But he dismissed any comparability with Messi or any participant in that class.
“I am not annoyed with this comparison but my take on it is this: there is no comparison whatsoever with Messi or any player in that category. There are thousands of players better than me. People who understand football, they know it,” he mentioned.
“I am proud of scoring 74 goals for my country. Till the last match I play I will give my best.”
Asked about his targets for the future, Chhetri mentioned, “We have a match against Afghanistan (on June 15) and after that my club BFC will play in the AFC. I am not looking beyond that.”
He conceded that the “results have not been that great” but mentioned the “silver lining is that a lot of young players are getting to play”.
Courtesy Chhetri’s double strike in the 79th and 92nd minute in opposition to Bangladesh, India (six factors from seven matches) are in a robust place to advance to the subsequent spherical of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers. They are already out of reckoning for a World Cup berth.
Talking about the shortcomings of the staff in opposition to Bangladesh, Chhetri mentioned, “We were trying too hard and we were not sharp enough at the final third. But that happened because we were not playing together for long.”
Chhetri was seen gesturing to Stimac whereas he bumped into the coach after scoring the first objective in opposition to Bangladesh, and he mentioned he was “apologising” for lacking a sitter earlier.
The star striker failed to attain from a header simply minutes earlier than he netted India’s opening objective.
“I should have done better and it was a simple tap-in. So, I was kind of apologising to him (Stimac).”
Chhetri mentioned the gamers, together with him, had been having fun with the fashion of soccer below Stimac.
“The gamers are having fun with possession primarily based soccer and I’m additionally having fun with. I like this passing and shifting system. It provides extra one-to-one actions and extra probabilities to attain.
“The coach encourages to keep the ball, not like FC Barcelona — that we can’t do. But we can stitch 5-6 passes and make more organised moves and a bit sharper while attacking,” he mentioned.
Asked through which space, the staff wants enchancment, he mentioned, “We know methods to be match and methods to defend. But I really feel going forward, we should be braver with the ball. But it should come after we play extra matches.
“This technical aspect will get better only when we play more matches. So future is bright.”