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Indian Football Set to Give Their All in Sunil Chhetri’s Farewell Match

In what promises to be an emotionally charged encounter, the Indian national football team is gearing up to give “more than 100 per cent” in Sunil Chhetri’s farewell match against Kuwait. This critical game, slated for Thursday, comes with another significant implication: a victory could place India in the top two of their group, propelling them into the third round of the World Cup qualifiers for the first time in history. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, attacking midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad articulated the team’s determination to make this a memorable send-off for their iconic captain.

“We are looking forward to the game,” said Sahal during a training session at the National Centre of Excellence. “We have that feeling we will fight for him, like we always do. He’s also ready to give his 100 per cent, and why not us? We will also give our more than 100 per cent,” he declared, capturing the collective spirit and commitment of the squad.

Sunil Chhetri’s illustrious career, spanning 19 remarkable years, will ceremoniously culminate with this match. With 94 goals from 150 appearances, Chhetri ranks as the third leading active goalscorer globally, following football legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. This match will not only be a testament to his skill and dedication but also a significant moment for Indian football, which has relied heavily on Chhetri’s leadership and talent.

Reflecting on his influence, Sahal shared a personal anecdote that underscores Chhetri’s enduring impact on his teammates. “From day one, he [Chhetri] has been my inspiration. It’s been great to play with him and share the dressing room with him,” the 31-year-old midfielder said, his respect and admiration palpable. “On my first day with the national team, he put his hand on my back and said, ‘This is a jersey everyone desires to wear’. I still vividly remember and cherish the moment,” he recalled, indicating the lasting impression Chhetri has had on younger players.

The farewell match is more than a fixture on the calendar; it is set to be a landmark event in Indian sports history. The anticipation is equally high among fans and analysts who are eager to see how the team rallies for their captain.

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. According to sources within the team, the players have been training rigorously, backed by a robust tactical approach from their coaching staff, aiming to secure a win not just for qualification but as a tribute to their leader.

Chhetri’s contribution to Indian football cannot be overstated. He has been the face of Indian football for nearly two decades, guiding the team through countless victories and inspiring a new generation of players. His career accolades, not just in terms of goals but also in leadership and inspiration, have set a benchmark for future talents in the country.

Beyond personal accomplishments, Chhetri has played an instrumental role in raising the profile of Indian football on the global stage. His resilience, despite numerous challenges and limited resources compared to footballing powerhouses, has made him a beloved figure in not just India but also among global football enthusiasts. His ability to perform consistently under pressure has earned him respect across the board, positioning him as a role model for athletes in various sports disciplines.

As India approaches the pivotal match against Kuwait, the narrative extends beyond just the scoreboard. It embodies the emotional journey of a team and a nation that sees an opportunity to etch their names in history with a performance befitting of their stalwart captain. The unity and the collective desire to fight for Chhetri’s swan song reflect a commendable team spirit that augurs well for the future of Indian football.

Media organizations and football aficionados nationwide have their eyes set on Thursday’s game, eagerly anticipating an evening imbued with nostalgia, passion, and perhaps a landmark victory. While the game will mark the end of Chhetri’s international career, it symbolizes the beginning of a new chapter bolstered by the foundations he has laid.

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