Eugeneson Lyngdoh reveals unseen side of Sunil Chhetri

Former team-mate Eugeneson Lyngdoh has also been Sunil Chhetri’s room-mate on tours. They would discuss environment, education and politics.

Sunil Chhetri (left) and Eugeneson Lyngdoh (extreme right) at a training session in 2017.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR


Former team-mate Eugeneson Lyngdoh has been Sunil Chhetri’s room-mate on tours. He remembered the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 when Chhetri went berserk.

“India were playing Colombia. Even as we watched it together, I felt that Sunil was actually himself playing the match. It was that phase in the match where India looked more organised, were playing well and he was kind of waving, gesturing as if he was in the dugout.

“At times he looked at me, smiled, commented, and then dived deep into the match again. And when we equalised, he jumped out of the bed, shouted, ran out of the room. He was so excited that I saw him banging the opposite room where other support staff were staying,” he told AIFF in a memory piece to celebrate Chhetri's 15th year in international football.

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Eugeneson added that Chhetri, as a room-mate, ensured his partner is comfortable. But there was no football talk as such. “Our talk revolved around all other facets of the world – environment, education, politics, our personal lives, the road which we have already walked, and the road ahead, and other stuff. He will just flip through and randomly start with his opinions on a recent event, and life in general. He prefers to look at the world from a different perspective without taking any sides or any allegiances,” he said.

Chhetri also spoke for education among sportspersons. “Both of us have had similar backgrounds and similar fates, as education has not been our strongest point, and neither were we bookworms during our student days. We always love to talk about that. Both of us sacrificed our academics for the love of football – both of us are not graduates. But Sunil always stresses on the importance of proper education for all footballers, or rather all sportspersons.”

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