Sunil Chhetri Surpasses Lionel Messi, Becomes 2nd Highest International Goal-Scorer

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Doha: India men’s football team captain Sunil Chhetri surpassed Argentina’s global superstar Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes.

The 36-year-old Chhetri achieved the feat against Bangladesh in the joint preliminary qualifying round match for 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup on Monday night.

The seasoned striker, who helped India register their first win in six years in World Cup qualifiers, now stands only behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorers list.

Chhetri leads Barcelona star Messi by two goals and sits a place above Ali Mabkhout of the UAE, who is third on the list with 73 goals to his name.

The India captain is also just a goal away from entering world football’s all-time top-10. He is behind Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis, Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto, and Kuwait’s Bashar Abdullah, who all have 75 goals.

With the win, India rose to the third spot in Group E with six points from seven games. India will next face Afghanistan in the qualifiers on June 15.

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