Chhetri surpasses Rooney, becomes 4th highest active int’l scorer

Chhetri’s goal against Kyrgyzstan in India’s 1-0 win on June 13 has taken him past the likes of Wayne Rooney.

Chhetri is currently only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (73 in 139 matches), Lionel Messi (58 in 118 matches) and Clint Dempsey (56 in 134 matches).   -  K Murali Kumar

Talismanic Indian football captain, Sunil Chhetri, has become the fourth highest international goal scorer among active players worldwide with his 54th strike for the country against Kyrgyzstan.

Chhetri’s magnificent goal against Kyrgyzstan in India’s 1-0 win in the 2019 Asian Cup Qualifiers match in Bengaluru on June 13 has taken him past Wayne Rooney (53 goals in 119 matches). Chhetri was playing in his 94th match.

Chhetri is currently only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (73 in 139 matches), Lionel Messi (58 in 118 matches) and Clint Dempsey (56 in 134 matches).

Chhetri’s strike rate is better than Ronaldo, Messi, Dempsey and Rooney. He has a goal per match ratio of 0.57 as against Rondaldo’s 0.525, Messi’s 0.49 , Dempsey’s 0.42 and Rooney’s 0.45 .

Only Brazilian superstar Neymar Junior (0.68), Ali Ashfaq (0.68) of Maldives and Edin Dzeko (0.63) of Bosnia have a better strike rate then Chhetri.

Remarkably, Chhetri is also in the top-30 of the all time goal scorers’ chart (taking into account both retired and active players) and is certain to be among the top-20 when he decides to call it a day.

He needs to score just six more to reach 60 goals and that should put him in the top-20. Chhetri is expected to continue his playing career for at least a couple of years and has expressed his desire to play in the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, if India qualify.

Chhetri is also just six games short of playing in 100 matches for the country and if he does that, he will join former Indian football’s poster boy, Bhaichung Bhutia, who retired in 2011 after donning Indian jersey 109 times.

Chhetri had surpassed Bhutia’s record of most number of international goals - 43- in 2013.

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