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Sunil Chhetri Climbs to Fourth-Highest International Goal Scorer, Gets Close to Messi and Ronaldo

India started their SAFF Championship journey with a resounding victory, as they defeated Pakistan 4-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The match was highlighted by an outstanding performance from Sunil Chhetri, who scored a remarkable hattrick.

Chhetri’s hat trick not only secured the win for India but also etched his name in the history books of international football. With his three goals, Chhetri’s career tally reached an impressive 90 goals, surpassing Malaysia’s Mokhtar Dahari (89) and securing the fourth position among the highest goal-scorers in international football.

The Indian captain’s achievement is a testament to his exceptional skills and consistent performance on the international stage. Chhetri’s contribution to Indian football over the years has been immense. His goal-scoring prowess continues to inspire both his teammates and fans.

With this remarkable victory and Chhetri’s record-breaking feat, India has made a strong statement in the SAFF Championship, signaling their intent to compete at the highest level. The team’s dominating performance and Chhetri’s individual brilliance have set the stage for an exciting tournament ahead. It is fueling the hopes and aspirations of Indian football fans.

Sunil Chhetri: 4th in the world

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri, with his remarkable hat trick in the SAFF Championship match, elevated his career goal tally to 90. This achievement places him among the elite goal-scorers in international football. However, there are three players who currently surpass Chhetri on the all-time goal-scoring list.

Lionel Messi, the Argentine maestro who recently secured the 2022 FIFA World Cup title with his national team, holds the third position with 103 goals. Ali Daei, the former Iranian star, occupies the second spot with an impressive record of 109 goals. At the pinnacle of the list stands Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese sensation, who has netted a remarkable 123 goals for his country.

Although Chhetri ranks below these legendary players in terms of total goals, his remarkable achievement and continuous contribution to Indian football make him a revered figure in the sport. With each goal he scores, Chhetri solidifies his status as one of the greatest Indian footballers of all time and an inspiration to aspiring players in the country.

Match Highlights

Chhetri capitalized on Saqib Hanif’s error in the Pakistani goal to score the game’s first goal in the 10th minute. A handball in the Pakistani penalty area gave the hosts a penalty in the 16th minute, which Chhetri converted to the left corner to make it 2-0. Chhetri was again fouled in the box in the 74th minute, and India was awarded another penalty. The seasoned striker calmly and coolly fired it toward the upper left corner.

Sunil Chhetri

Current position of Chettri

Currently, Sunil Chhetri holds the position of the third-highest active goal scorer in international men’s football. He is trailing just 14 goals behind Lionel Messi, who triumphed in the FIFA World Cup 2022. And Cristiano Ronaldo, the illustrious five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Chhetri’s remarkable goal-scoring prowess places him in the esteemed company among the sport’s most accomplished players. It highlighted his exceptional contribution to Indian football. As he continues to find the back of the net, Chhetri inches closer to the goal-scoring records set by legendary figures. He is solidifying his status as a prominent figure in the world of international football.


1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 123 Goals 200 Matches
2. Ali Daei (Iran) 109 Goals 148 Matches
3. Lionel Messi (Argentina) 103 Goals 173 Matches
4. Sunil Chhetri (India) 90 Goals 138 Matches
5. Mokhtar Dahari (Malaysia) 89 Goals 142 Matches

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