Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri was conferred with Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award on 13th November. The skipper said that playing for 19 years is the main reason why he was chosen to be conferred with the prestigious Award.
Thanking everyone who help him in his glorious journey Chhetri said,”One of the primary reasons why I got the Khel Ratna Award is because I have been playing for 19 years. I want to thank each one of the masseurs, physios and doctors. You superstars have been the main reason why I could be on the pitch. There have been so many times when I thought I couldn’t, but you guys made it possible for me.”
“I also need to thank all my clubs, my teammates — both at the clubs and the National Team, the fans and the family. All these years you have suffered with me, rejoiced with me, you were there with me at every ups and downs, you dreamt with me — and I very happily share this Award with each and every one of you,” Sunil added.
Sunil has already been conferred with the Padma Shri Award and the Arjuna Award. The star footballer is currently tied with Lionel Messi at the second place in the goalscorers list among active footballers at the International level on 80 goals, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading on 115 goals.
Sunil is the first Indian footballer to receive the highest award for a sportsman in India. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday conferred National Sports Awards to the athletes.