Rathore, Tendulkar lead accolades for Chhetri
New Delhi: The Indian sporting fraternity, led by sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, today hailed the national football team skipper Sunil Chhetri for his "super achievement" of playing 100 matches for the country.
Chhetri became only the second Indian footballer after former captain Bhaichung Bhutia to feature in 100 matches for the country. The landmark game was the one against Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai last night.
It was a memorable match for Chhetri, who turns 34 in August, as he scored twice in India's 3-0 win over the African side in front of a packed crowd at the Mumbai Football Arena.
"A special victory indeed. Well done, #TeamIndia! Super achievement @chetrisunil11 on your 100th appearance and the 2 goals," Tendulkar said on his Twitter handle.
Rathore tweeted, "A superb and well deserved win by our @IndianFootball team. Congratulations to the team for the 3-0 win against Kenya today! @chetrisunil11 lead from the front and scored 2 goals in his 100th match!"
Bhutia, who has played for the country 104 times, described Chhetri as a "genuius player".
"Congratulations @chetrisunil11 for the 100th match for #India. It has been a great pleasure to see you reach here. Great achievement from a genius player! #captain," Bhutia tweeted.
Head coach Stephen Constantine understandably gave a cautious reaction on Chhetri's milestone as he would not want to single out any of his players in the team.
"He is a great servant of Indian football," he said before the match when asked about Chhetri.
Former India cricketers V V S Laxman and Virender Sehwag also congratulated Chhetri on achieving the feat.
"Congratulations India on beating Kenya 3-0 in #IntercontinentalCup2018; Skipper @chetrisunil11 was brilliant leading from the front, scoring twice in his 100th match. Fantastic performance," Laxman said.
"What a fantastic victory. Congratulations @chetrisunil11 on your 100th international match and for making it extra special with the two goals and a fantastic victory in front of a packed stadium. Great news for @IndianFootball," Sehwag tweeted.
Jeje Lalpekhlua, who also scored against Kenya last night, tweeted: "Captain, Leader, Legend".