Indian Captain Sunil Chhetri overtook Lionel Messi’s record of international goals with a match-winning brace against Bangladesh in the joint qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup on Monday.
In Group E match, at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Chhetri scored in the 79th and 92nd minutes to lead India to a 2-0 victory over Bangladesh.
‘To win Keycap digit three points, win a full game is sweet! I’m really happy that we also kept a clean sheet,” after the match, Chhetri stated.
The result in Doha on Monday helped India end an 11-match winless streak and improve their prospects of qualifying for the Asian Cup third round directly.
This was India’s first win in seven games in the Asian phase of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. They are presently in third place in Group E, behind hosts Qatar (22 points) and Oman (12 points).
Official FIFA World Cup Twitter account tweeted “He’s now got more than Messi! Sunil Chhetri’s double earns the Blue Tigers a 2-0 win in #WCQ and moves him on to 74 international goals – above Lionel Messi and one off entering world football’s all-time top 10”
🤩 He’s now got more than Messi! Sunil Chhetri’s double earns the Blue Tigers a 2-0 win in #WCQ and moves him on to 74 international goals – above Lionel Messi and one off entering world football’s all-time top 10 🧗♂️@chetrisunil11 | @IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/sCCd6BgS9H
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 7, 2021
Chhetri now has 74 goals from 117 games, putting him in second place on the list of active footballers with the most international goals. The list is led by Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 103 goals from 174 games.
He surpassed Ali Mabkhout of the United Arab Emirates and Lionel Messi to take second place on the list of current goal scorers.
Mabkhout has 73 goals in 89 appearances, whereas Messi has 72 goals in 143 outings for Argentina.
Chettri is currently ranked 11th all-time among footballers with the most international goals.
Ali Daei of Iran still leads the list with 109 goals in 149 games, but Ronaldo will have a chance to overtake him when he leads defending champions Portugal at the UEFA European Championship.