35Under35

Revealing Sunil Chhetri's Journey to the Apex of Indian Football Scene

Most good things begin with a little bit of a struggle and failure asserts this star footballer
Revealing Sunil Chhetri's Journey to the Apex of Indian Football Scene
Image credit: Bengaluru FC Media
Former Trainee Writer, Entrepreneur India
2 min read
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Being born to footballer parents, Chhetri had passion towards the game since childhood. Over the years, he simply became determined to carry it as a career. “My parents were avid footballers and are big sport fans which meant that football was always a part of our conversation,” states the soccer team captain. Though the road to success wasn’t that easy for this Secunderabad boy, he made sure he came back with a bang in 2011 post his severe ankle injury. However, playing for Mohun Bagan (one of the best club of Kolkata) built his career. “Though I worked tirelessly, but the enthusiasm in the club was so high that who wouldn’t want to put their best foot forward,” states the player.

In a country where cricket is favored over soccer, Chhetri was auctioned at Rs 1.2 crore for Mumbai City Football Club in ISL League, highest so far. With a goal card of 56 for India, Chhetri’s net worth was Rs 2.30 crore in 2017. He says, “Most good things begin with a little bit of a struggle and failure. It is important to accept these hurdles as a shaping tool. I did have tough days but my family, coaches, team and fans pulled me up. I started believing in myself before failure could tarnish me.”

The enthusiasm doesn’t end there, today, he has co-founded a sports app called GamePlan that is designed to help footballers; avid or amateur to find likeminded players across their neighborhood. “It’s been a great learning experience and we’re slowly beginning to find our feet. The response has been terrific and we’re only certain of growing bigger! Moreover, founding this start-up has also sharpened my leadership skills,” he says. Chhetri is also counted among the most stylish sports personalities in the country.

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