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FOOTBALL | Chhetri now fully focused on delivering for Bengaluru Football Club

FootballFOOTBALL | Chhetri now fully focused on delivering for Bengaluru Football Club

Sunil Chhetri and BFC players in the open training session on Sunday. The now retired India international says he will continue to play for BFC till he brings value to the team.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Having retired from international football, Sunil Chhetri’s focus now turns to representing his club, Bengaluru FC. 

Chhetri’s status as fan favourite remains undiminished, as he received the loudest cheers in the club’s open training session at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Sunday. 

The 39-year-old did not put a timeline on when he will call time on his club career. The striker stated that he will continue to play for as long as he brings value to the team. 

“A lot depends on what value I bring to the team. That is a very important criteria. The life I have lived with this football club — BFC is my club. I do not want to be here if I don’t add value. I want to give my very best to this team,” Chhetri said. 

“And after that, I’ll be cheering for the boys from up there,” Chhetri said, pointing to the spectator stands.  

Chhetri was happy that his good friend Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team fulfilled a dream by winning the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. 

“I love the fact that he (Kohli) won the tournament. It was long overdue. I know that he genuinely wanted to win it. To see the tears, as a sportsperson myself, I understood the emotions,” Chhetri said.  

Like all India fans, Chhetri’s heart was in his mouth when David Miller nearly smacked a maximum in the last over of the final. 

“When Miller hit the ball, we all thought it was going for six. What a catch by Suryakumar (Yadav)! It is a fine margin — if that had gone for six, who knows what would have happened. Kudos to the whole team,” Chhetri said. 

Chhetri remarked that BFC’s 10th place finish in ISL 2023-24 was among the worst in the club’s history. There is a strong desire to get the club back to winning ways, Chhetri said. 

“The message from the head coach (Gerard Zaragoza) is very clear. He wants us to win every day. Firstly, we have to be at our best in training. There is a lot of competition in the team, so the coach made it very clear that everyone has to work hard to grab their places in the side. This creates a healthy atmosphere,” Chhetri added. 

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