Indian striker Sunil Chhetri has overtaken Lionel Messi to become the second highest goalscorer at international level with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way with 85 goals. Sunil Chhetri netted twice as India beat Thailand in the 2019 Asian Cup to reach 67 goals and move behind only Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal star is still some way ahead of his obscure rival on 85 international goals and counting.
Chhetri’s goals came in India’s opening game of the Asian Cup, which is being held in the UAE, and gave his country their first win in the tournament in 55 years. At 34 years of age he has very much become the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian football. He plays for Bengaluru and is nicknamed Captain Fantastic having long been the standout star of the Indian national team. His first goal for his country came back in 2005, and it created history as the first goal scored between India and Pakistan.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 85 goals in 154 games
2. Sunil Chhetri (India) – 67 in 105
3. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 65 in 128
4. Neymar (Brazil) – 60 in 95
He sphearheaded India to victory in the 2008 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup, scoring four times. With 105 caps to his name he possesses a handy strike rate of 0.63 goals per game. But he has struggled to break out away from his homeland. He made only one substitute appearance for Kansas City Wizards in a bid to crack Major League Soccer, and also had a run in Sporting Lisbon’s reserve side.