Sunil Chhetri has won fans with her challenge and discipline

In a WhatsApp group that has five members. Sunil Chhetri It is your true self. When the Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan ended with a scissor shot in the race against Aston Villa last week, Sonu lamba , The representative of the player of Chhetri, made a parallel while marveling at the goal. Sunil scored a similar one against Mahindra United, sent a message in the group.

Faithful in style, Chhetri smiled at first, before doing what he does best: return it. Yes, but he also lost opportunities against Bangladesh and NorthEast United.

I can't wait for a game to eliminate this feeling inside me. The world revolves around objectives. Even after 350 goals, it's the same. How did I miss this? answered. He was still punished for fouls in previous matches by country and club.

According to the evidence of his 19 years in competitive football, the 'captain, leader and legend' of Bengaluru FC is easily the best player India has had in decades. It is the only face the world knows about Indian football. He is our statistically record scorer, two more than Lionel messi for Argentina and only surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo among active players, and has already collected more than one hundred caps. In an India crazy about cricket, it spells hope for thousands of people who have chosen to support the beautiful game.

He played and scored in the two appearances of India in the Asian Cup this century, and although he will be 39 when the next edition is played in 2023, he is likely to continue leading the charge of India. So, what keeps this amazing player, the man in whose honor the fans sing.

'We've got Chhetri, Sunil Chhetri ... I just don't think you understand. Oh! when he scores, we go f *** ing mad ... We've got Sunil Chhetri. '

A player, whose stands full of fans take pride in owning: Can you see that man play? It is our number 11, and it is our powerful champion, the living legend ...

Lamba, Chhetri's childhood friend, who abandoned his career in the merchant navy about six years ago to become his player representative, says: See things like nobody else. Keep educating yourself. You will not waste time on social networks; will train, watch motivational videos or, as in the last 18 months, read books. It stays physically and mentally very fit. That is what separates it from the rest.

Chhetri's unique approach, commitment to fitness, recent fashion, and a thick layer of professionalism are legendary at Bengaluru FC. His preseason at the club starts four days before everyone else, and it is only the kit man who knows how he distributes the cones and trains alone.

Kunaal Majgaonkar, media manager at Bengaluru FC and Chhetri confidant, says: Chhetri has a different kind of obsession. I am speaking as neutral and not as someone who is close to him most of the time. You still can't see that kind of obsession, although many players do things right.

Majgaonkar remembers the moment when the two decided to drive to Ooty for a quiet retreat. It was supposed to be Chhetri's time away from everything, family, football and fitness included, but on the first day itself, Bengaluru's top scorer for six consecutive years showed his true colors.

By chance, I woke up early the first day, possibly at 6 in the morning, and Chhetri was nowhere in bed. I looked down and there it was, doing push-ups on the floor. That man is obsessed. You can't really stop thinking about football, says Majgaonkar.

The only time Chhetri is not thinking about football is when he is at home, spending time with his wife Sonam, playing cards, watching documentaries on television and talking about 'Inside the Mind of Bill Gates' on Netflix.

He received five books on his 35th birthday. There was one about geography (Prisoners of geography), tigers (Living with tigers), mountaineering (Into Thin Air), minimalism (Goodbye Things) and reflections of life (Tuesday with Morrie), and he spends a lot of his free time testing the emotion and emotion that good books provide.

Chhetri wants to make up for what he lost (in education), Majgaonkar explains. By surprise, Chhetri's dream was to reach St Stephen's College in Delhi, but before he could line up for admission, Mohun Bagan appeared with a contract and the promise of a football career that he simply couldn't turn down at age 18. .

Udanta Singh, a player that Chhetri greatly admires and mentors, says: When I joined Bengaluru FC, I was excited to share a dressing room with Sunil Bhai and learn everything I could from him, in the field. After six seasons, I can easily say that it is what he does outside the field that has taught me the most.

He wants to improve every day, but he also wants everyone around him to improve. The reason we all admire him is not because of the amount of goals he has scored or the prizes he has won, but because he does exactly what he asks us to do. Lead by example.

Everyone who has spent some time with Chhetri knows that his obsession with fitness is on a different level. Since he landed at Bengaluru FC in 2013 and discovered that there was no white rice, no chicken with bones and certainly no chicken with butter, thanks to coach Ashley Westwood, a graduate of the Manchester United Academy, it is reduced to one grain what Your body needs And you will never allow your teammates to give themselves up to something that will not do their bodies good.

Even if Udanta dies of a tablespoon of white rice, he will think twice before serving. Chhetri would be waiting for him; at the airports, nobody's eyes slip away, and even at the Diwali meeting he organized at his residence, he made sure everyone had fun while he was almost starving and took a spoonful of vegetables when the requests became too much ignore.

Lamba says: In our family, we joke that if Sunil is playing even with our daughter, he won't let her win. He wants to win all the time, whether he competes with a six or 60 year old. .

The inner circle of Chhetri will tell you that it has always been that way. Whether football, carrom, badminton, table tennis or even monopoly, whatever the scenario, it will give everything. For now, India and Bengaluru FC are reaping the benefits and, with the exception of the opposition, nobody complains.