6th June becomes a very important date in the history of Indian football. The highest International Indian goal scorer Sunil Chhetri bids farewell to his fans as India played out a clean draw against the Kuwaitis in their FIFA world cup 2026 qualifier match in Kolkata.

Sunil Chhetri, the stalwart of Indian football, has enchanted the hearts of millions with unwavering dedication, unprecedented talent and leadership. As the captain of the Indian national team, he has been the face of Indian football for over a decade. His final match against Kuwait was a moment of reflection, celebration and gratitude for a career which has left an incredible mark on the sport in the country.

The farewell match was held at the iconic Saltlake stadium, Kolkata. It is a venue that has witnessed innumerable historic moments of Indian football. The stadium reflected the morose mood in the Indian camp as their talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri laced up his boots for one last time.

As the departing captain walks into the field an hour before the game begins for a solid warm session. The weeping crowd roars at his arrival. The atmosphere becomes electric where Fans from all over the world came to pay tribute to their beloved captain.

Chhetri’s career has been nothing short of remarkable. Born in Secunderabad in 1984, he began his professional journey with Mohun Bagan in 2002. Over the years, he played for various clubs both domestically and internationally and left a remarkable record wherever he played.  

One of Chhetri’s most significant contributions to the team is his leadership onn and off the field. Under his captaincy the Indian football team has won numerous milestones especially their outstanding performance for the SAFF championship and also qualifying for the AFC Asian cup.

The farewell match was more than just a game of football it was a statement made by Sunil Chhetri for in 19 years of career. The Indian national team played against an all start XI comprising of former teammates, remarkable players and people from the football fraternity. The match brilliant and it also created moments of Nostalgia. The match also ensured that yesterday was not just only about him but also portrayed the individual brilliance of the players. The Kuwaitis kept on threatening our Indian players with their amazing wing play while the crowd cheered the basic saves made by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as India slowly and steadily tried to grow into the match.

After the final whistle, a wave of emotion took over the entire stadium as everyone realized ‘It’s over’. Chhetri was honored with a series of tributes from his teammates, coaches and dignitaries. The Indian players gave him a guard of honor as Chhetri took the final walk from the field into the locker room. Thus ends the final match of our beloved skipper making it a poignant and memorable event.  His legacy will continue to inspire and shape the dream of every single football lover in the country.

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Eliana James (Tracy)

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