Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri in action against Bangladeshi players during their World Cup qualifier match held in Qatar.(PTI)
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri in action against Bangladeshi players during their World Cup qualifier match held in Qatar.(PTI)

Sunil Chhetri surpasses Lionel Messi to reach 2nd spot in elite list of goalscorers, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo

Chhetri achieved the feat when he struck a brace to help India defeat Bangladesh 2-0 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China Qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium at Al Sadd Club in Doha.
PUBLISHED ON JUN 08, 2021 09:12 AM IST

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri on Sunday added another feather to his illustrious cap as he surpassed Argentina star forward Lionel Messi in the list of active international goalscorers in the world. Chhetri overtook Messi after he scored a brace against Bangladesh in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium at Al Sadd Club in Doha.

With two goals in the match, Chhetri took his total international goals tally to 74, surpassing Messi who has 72 goals for Argentina in his career so far, and is fourth in the list.

The India forward is now only behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo in the list, who has 103 international goals to his name. UAE's Ali Mabkhout is third on the list having scored 73 goals.

Also read: Sunil Chhetri brace vs Bangladesh gives India win after nearly two years

All India Football Federation President Praful Patel congratulated Chhetri for becoming the second-highest active international goalscorer.


"Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals. A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future," Praful tweeted.

With this win, India has risen to the third spot in Group E with six points from seven games.

Chhetri's first goal was a properly-timed header from a left-sided cross while the other was an injury-time strike, as he curled home a finish from inside the penalty area.

India will next lock horns against Afghanistan in the Qualifiers on June 15. The side is already out of contention to qualify for FIFA World Cup 2022, but the Blue Tigers can still qualify for AFC Asian Cup.

(With inputs from ANI)

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