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Sunil Chhetri labelled as ‘a legend’ in staggering tribute by Luka Modric ahead of India vs Kuwait retirement match

Jun 06, 2024 04:52 PM IST

Sunil Chhetri received a staggering tribute from Real Madrid star Luka Modric ahead of his retirement match as India take on Kuwait in a World Cup qualifier.

It will be heart wrenching for Indian football fans to watch Sunil Chhetri play his final international game on Thursday. The 39-year-old will be calling time on a career, spanning two decades and filled with historic moments, which put him among the world's all-time leading goalscorers.

Luka Modric hailed Sunil Chhetri.

The Indian football legend has scored 94 goals for his country, and is behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and former Iran player Ali Daei. He is also India's most-capped player with 150 appearances.

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Chhetri will be representing the Blue Tigers for the final time, against Kuwait in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. Ahead of the game, India head coach Igor Stimac had a special surprise for his star player and revealed a video where Real Madrid star Luka Modric sent his regards.

Lauding the Bengaluru FC striker, the midfield legend said, "Hi Sunil, I just want to say hello 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 and to your teammates, I hope you make his last game special and unforgettable. Good luck and win for your captain. All the best and best regards from Croatia," he further added.

Stimac also thanked his countryman, saying, "Thank you Luka. We will do everything in our power to make our country and our captain proud."

Among his many honours, Chhetri received the Arjuna Award in 2011, and the Padma Shri in 2019, which is India's fourth-highest civilian award. In 2021, he got the Khel Ratna Award, which is the country's highest sporting honor and became the first footballer to get the award.

India are currently second in Group A, in the second round of the qualifiers. They have four points in four matches, ahead of third-placed Afghanistan (4) in goal difference. Meanwhile, Kuwait are fourth with three points and Qatar are on top with 12.

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