Chhetri: I will always be there for development of football in Delhi

India and Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri was conferred the first ever Football Ratna honour by Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran.

Sunil Chhetri was presented the Football Ratna honour by Football Delhi. [File photo]   -  PTI

Sunil Chhetri, India's all-time leading scorer in international football, says he is always there to help develop the sport in the national capital, where he was brought up.

The 34-year-old Padma Shri awardee was on Friday conferred the first ever Football Ratna honour by Football Delhi, the association governing the sport in the city.

“I am honoured by the kind gesture of Football Delhi and recognising me with the Football Ratna award. My support will always be there for the development of football in Delhi and I am sure the current management is working hard to develop football in Delhi and make Delhi a model football state in India,” Chhetri said.

Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran, himself a former player of repute and administrator at the All India Football Federation and FIFA, presented the award to Chhetri.

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“We are inspired by the spectacular achievements of Sunil. His professionalism, dedication, discipline and passion, on and off the field, is an example not only for the football fraternity but also for every Indian to dream big and achieve something spectacular in life,” Prabhakaran said.

“It is a great honour for us to confer the first ever Football Ratna to Sunil Chhetri and we express our gratitude and thanks to Sunil for his time and inspiration to develop football in Delhi.”

On the occasion, Football Delhi also honoured 18-year-old Delhi youngster Shubham Sarangi, who is currently a part of the Delhi Dynamos squad.

Shubham was part of AIFF Youth Academy since the age of 12 years and represented India in U-14 and U-17 youth national teams.