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Chirag now but Europe in future

His time at Sporting Kansas City may have ended earlier than expected but Sunil Chhetri isn't giving up playing abroad. The India striker is currently scouring clubs in Europe even though he's pledged his immediate future to Chirag United.

sports Updated: Feb 15, 2011 23:06 IST
HT Correspondent

His time at Sporting Kansas City may have ended earlier than expected but Sunil Chhetri isn't giving up playing abroad. The India striker is currently scouring clubs in Europe even though he's pledged his immediate future to Chirag United.

“I am with them till the end of the season,” said Chhetri, who scored against Bahrain and South Korea in the Asian Cup finals last month. Speaking from Portugal, he said that he is available for next month's AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

The Delhi-based player said he has been to Italy and Spain over the past four days and is now in Portugal. “I am hearing what clubs have to say but nothing's firmed up yet. Hopefully, something will happen before the next European season,” Chhetri, 26, said. He added severing the four-year contract with Sporting Kansas City, previously Kansas City Wizards in the USA's Major League Soccer, was mutual.

The only Indian to have scored two international hattricks this century, said he would like to train for 10 days before starting for Chirag United but admitted that it is possible he would play Sunday's home tie against I-League 4 leaders Salgaocar. “I haven't trained since the Asian Cup. I was busy setting up home in Dwarka (near New Delhi).” He is due in Kolkata on Thursday.

Asked about his goals in the Asian Cup, Chhetri said personal milestones aren't important. “My first goal (against Bahrain) was really Renedy Singh's goal and really, it doesn't matter who scores. It was important that India scored goals at the highest level in Asia, not who scored,” he said.

The Asian Cup was a good platform to see where India stand, Chhetri stand.

Reacting to national coach Bob Houghton being censured by the technical committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the Asian Cup, He said, “If Bob goes it would be one of the saddest things to happen in India football.”