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Sunil Chhetri vs Ronaldo: Captain, Leader and Legend

It is almost unbelievable that a football player from the Indian national team has achieved a feat that brings him in the same discussion as Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international is considered amongst one of the best players to ever play the sport with his unparalleled goal-scoring records across various European and world competitions. However, Sunil Chhetri vs Ronaldo becomes relevant when comparing their international career.

Sunil Chhetri vs Ronaldo: International Goals

PlayersMatchGoalsGoals per match
Sunil Chhetri125800.63
Cristiano Ronaldo1841150.64

With both the players currently active and on the wrong side of 30, Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to end up on top with more international goals and probably the highest goalscorer of all time. However, a 37-year-old Sunil Chhetri is still going strong and remains one of the most reliable goalscorers in the Indian Super League.

The comparison between Chhetri and Ronaldo on the basis of international goals alone don’t paint the full picture and the Indian stated the same during an interview with Virat Kohli. “I listen to these comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, I’ll be happy and then forget it in five seconds. Because there is no comparison (with Ronaldo),” Chhetri had stated.

There are three players between Cristiano Ronaldo and Sunil Chhetri – Iran’s Ali Daei, Malaysia’s Mokhtar Dahari and Hungary’s Ference Puskas – all of whom have retired from international football. However, there still are Argentina’s Lionel Messi (80 goals) and UAE’s Ali Mabkhout (79 goals), who could overcome the duo in the number of goals.

Chhetri managed to match football legend Lionel Messi’s international goal tally on October 17, 2021, when the Indian captain scored in India’s 3-0 win over Nepal at the SAFF Championship final.

Sunil Chhetri vs Ronaldo: Goals in international competitions

Cristiano Ronaldo in international matches
Competitions MatchGoalsAssists
International friendlies522011
World Cup Qualification453614
UEFA Euro Qualification35314
World Cup1772
UEFA Nations League 650
Confederations Cup421

Most goals of Cristiano Ronaldo have come in the World Cup qualifiers for Portugal, which is followed by the UEFA Euro qualifiers. However, what separates Ronaldo from the rest are his performances in the biggest of stages. The centre-forward has 21 goals in Euro and World Cup finals, an unparalleled feat.

Sunil Chhetri in international competitions
Competitions MatchGoalsAssists
International friendlies62366
World Cup Qualification38180
South Asian Football Federation Championship363212
AFC Challenge Cup26140
Asian Cup Qualification1680
Intercontinental Cup14222
AFC Asian Cup1280

Unlike Ronaldo, Chhetri has most goals in international friendlies. However, the Indian international has played different tournaments with one of his most prolific tournaments being the Intercontinental Cup with 22 goals. Chhetri has a whopping 32 goals in 36 South Asian Football Federation Championship matches.

Ronaldo vs Chhetri: Goals for clubs

Cristiano Ronaldo in club football
Clubs MatchGoalsAssists
Real Madrid438450132
Manchester United30913071
Juventus FC13410122
Sporting CP3156

It is here that Cristiano Ronaldo triumphs Sunil Chhetri by leaps and bounds. Having played over 900 matches so far, Ronaldo has plied his trade in some of the biggest clubs in Europe like Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus FC. scoring hundreds of goals.

Sunil Chhetri in club football
Clubs MatchGoalsAssists
Bengaluru FC1919014
Mumbai City FC1770
Churchill Brothers1360
Sporting CP B300

Interestingly, Chhetri had played three matches for the Sporting CP B team, the club where Ronaldo started his career. Chhetri has only played over 220 matches in his entire club career and quite understandably trails Ronaldo both in terms of goals and assists. However, Chhetri remains an integral part of former ISL winners Bengaluru FC as the 37-year-old still maintains his stature of being one of the ISL top scorers.

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