Sunil Chhetri (Photo/Indian Football Team Twitter)
Sunil Chhetri (Photo/Indian Football Team Twitter)

Great sacrifices behind Sunil Chhetri's success: Shanmugam Venkatesh

ANI | Updated: Aug 04, 2019 01:07 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 4 (ANI): Indian football team assistant coach Shanmugam Venkatesh on Saturday said that behind Blue Tigers skipper Sunil Chhetri's success there is a lot of sacrifices that he made.

"Another important thing is that behind all his successes, he has made a lot of sacrifices as well. From the outside, everything seems easy but very few know the sacrifices he makes every day. It only gets harder as you become a senior," AIFF quoted Venkatesh as saying

"But he knows how to deal with things, and proves himself day by day out on the field. He is a role model to many and I hope he continues to do his best and wishes him best for the future," he added.

Ventakesh who was a captain, teammate and now coach to Chhetri said that he was a chirpy guy but he was serious to his work.

"As a captain and teammate, I travelled with him for 4-5 years. The younger faces in the team -- the likes of him, and Steven Dias were extremely naughty characters in the dressing room. He was such a chirpy guy. We used to have a lot of fun. But he was utmost serious when it came to his work," Venkatesh said.

"At the same time, we used to respect him and the other junior players as well. As a senior player, it is very important to guide and respect the youngsters as it motivates them to improve their performance, and confidence," he added.

The 35-year-old Chhetri has transformed himself completely in the last four year. "In the last four years as the National Team Assistant coach, I have seen an entirely different face of Sunil. When we played together, the routines were different. We are now more comfortable discussing things. He has great knowledge of the game, and I have always respected his opinions and suggestions," Venkatesh said.

"After becoming the coach, I have noticed his seriousness and concentration levels. For a player, it's very easy to lose concentration in the middle of a camp. But I have never seen this happen even once with Sunil," he added.

Venkatesh added that Chhetri is still at the top of his game as he is still scoring goals. Chhetri has played 111 matches for India and scored 71 goals. He is the most goal-scorer in the country. The 35-year-old is only behind Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo who has 88 goals. While the Argentinean striker Lionel Messi has 68 goals under his name.

"Sunil is still at the top of his game, he is still scoring goals. He treats every training session as the same and gives his all. Off the pitch, I can see, he is very disciplined. It is not very easy to do that after reaching a level, as sometimes one can get casual but it has never happened to him," Venkatesh said.

"He has maintained himself very well and he is careful at every step - right from eating the right things, to take adequate rest, to taking care of his equipment. It is the little things that matter, and other players also follow him. He keeps himself updated with the latest happenings, and makes the most of them," he added. (ANI)