Indian football star Sunil Chhetri has surpassed Lionel Messi in international goals, after scoring both goals in his country’s 2-0 win over Bangladesh in Qatar’s capital Doha.
Chhetri moved past Argentinian Messi’s 72 goals when he opened the scoring in the 79th minute on Monday, in a qualifying match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
The 36-year-old striker added a second in injury time, taking his total to 74 goals for India, who are already out of the race to qualify for the World Cup but can make it to the Asian Cup in China.
Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo tops the international list among active players, with 103 goals.
With 73 strikes, Ali Mabkhout of the United Arab Emirates is also above Messi – a six-time Ballon d’Or winner widely regarded as the greatest player of the modern era.
🤩 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
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel lauded the captain for leading from the front.
“Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals,” Patel wrote on Twitter.
“A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future.”
India will next face Afghanistan in the qualifiers on June 15.