Sunil Chhetri Leads India to SAFF Football Victory

Indian men's football team won SAFF Championship 2023, but coach Stimac expresses concerns over player discipline influenced by the Indian Super League (ISL).

The Indian men’s football team won the SAFF Championship 2023 title after beating Kuwait at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. 4 July 2023. India won their ninth SAFF Championship 2023 in 14 editions. This was India’s second silverware on the trot after clinching the Intercontinental Cup last month. After the 90 mins match, the score was 1-1. The teams needed 30 mins to score but still, it was a tie. 

Then there was a penalty shootout. India won 5-4. The captain of the football team is Sunil Chhetri. 

The 38-year-old forward made his debut in 2005 against Pakistan, and since then, he has been a great servant for Indian football. Chhetri has been playing football for India for 20 years now. In this period, he has represented the Indian team 142 times. In his 142 matches for India, Chhetri has slammed home 92 goals in international matches. 

He is the fourth-highest international goal-scorer in men's football

  1. Portugal’s ace Cristiano Ronaldo (123)

  2. Iran’s Ali Daei (109) 

  3. Argentina's Lionel Messi (103) 

  4.  India’s Sunil Chhetri 92 

The Blue Tigers are undefeated at home since 2019 and haven’t lost a competitive game in 2023. At this point, there is a sense of growing optimism over an impressive outing for India in the upcoming AFC Asian Cup. 
Indian football team coach Igor Stimac should, ideally, be a happy man. Igor Stimac, however, is not satisfied with the current structure and operations in Indian football. Just like there is IPL there is ISL for football. Igor said that the Indian football team has picked up bad habits from the ISL. He said that in ISL Indian football players are playing for money and have no discipline. He also said that the players get very exhausted. They then have the same attitude toward the ISL. Now they won the match but they need to improve themselves to win matches at the international level.