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Luka Modric wishes Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri on his farewell match

First Published: 6th June, 2024 9:24 IST

India's upcoming clash against Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying match at the Salt Lake Stadium has significant importance for Indian football fans.

India Senior Football Team coach Igor Stimac took to social media and shared Real Madrid’s midfielder Luka Modric’s message for team skipper Sunil Chhetri, who is set to play his farewell match on Thursday.

India’s upcoming clash against Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying match at the Salt Lake Stadium has significant importance for Indian football fans. The game will mark the last appearance of legendary captain Chhetri in Indian colours.

“Hi Sunil, I want to say congratulations and wish you all the best in your last game for the national team. Congratulations on your career. You are a legend of this game. To your teammates, I hope you make his last game memorable. Good luck and all the best from team Crotia,” Modric was quoted as saying in video posted by Stimac.

Chhetri was the quickest to point out during Wednesday’s pre-match press conference that the match should not be about him, but the potentially ground-breaking result awaiting Indian football.

“I’m trying really hard not to think about the game emotionally. It’s not about me. I would love to win 1-0, I don’t care who scores. The last 15 days have been good. I think we’re on the same page in terms of fitness and that’s a good headache for the coach to have,” said Chhetri.

Chhetri kicked off his professional football journey at Mohun Bagan in 2002. Chhetri helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup, as well as the 2011, 2015, 2021 and 2023 SAFF Championship. He also led India to victory in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which helped India qualify for its first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years.

In a career that spanned over 19 years, the Arjuna Award winner has 94 goals in 150 matches on the international stage. The most-capped Indian footballer is the fourth-highest goal-scorer on the global stage with icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi ahead of him.

It won’t be an easy game for India as they continue their hunt for a top2 spot in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying group. Since 2010, India and Kuwait have faced each other four times. Both have won one match each, and the remaining two were draws.

India is currently second in the table with four points in four matches.

They will try to secure a top-two finish in Round 3 of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and earn a spot at the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027.




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