Doha: Indian captain Sunil Chhetri added another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Argentina star Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer on Monday.
Chhetri achieved the feat when he struck a brace to help India defeat Bangladesh 2-0 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China Qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium at Al Sadd Club in Doha.
The 36-year-old Chhetri scored both his goals in the second half of the match as he netted the ball into the goalpost in the 79th and 92nd minutes.
Chhetri has now scored 74 goals, two more than Messi, and is only behind Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the list of active footballers with the most international goals. Ali Mabkhout is third on the list having scored 73 goals.
All India Football Federation President Praful Patel congratulated Chhetri for becoming the second-highest active international goalscorer.
“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. A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future,” Praful tweeted.
With this win, India has risen to the third spot in Group E with six points from seven games.
Chhetri’s first goal was a properly-timed header from a left-sided cross while the other was an injury-time strike, as he curled home a finish from inside the penalty area.
India will next lock horns against Afghanistan in the Qualifiers on June 15. The side is already out of contention to qualify for FIFA World Cup 2022, but the Blue Tigers can still qualify for AFC Asian Cup.