Sunil Chhetri surpasses Lionel Messi in active international goal scorer list

Sunil Chhetri
Image Credits: @IndianFootball/Twitter

Sunil Chhetri scored twice in a 2-0 win for India against Bangladesh on Monday evening at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha in a combined qualifier for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup. In the second half, he scored his 73rd and 74th international goals, passing UAE’s Ali Mabkhout, who has 73 goals to his name. 

2nd in the List

Chhetri’s two goals also propelled him to the top of the list of highest individual international active goal-scorers.

Among active international goal scorers, Cristiano Ronaldo has the most international goals (103). Meanwhile, Argentina’s Lionel Messi has 72 international goals in 143 games.

Chhetri has also climbed to 11th place on the men’s all-time international goalscorers list. With 75 goals, he ranks just behind Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis, Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto, and Kuwait’s Bashar Abdullah.

Ali Mabkhout of the UAE, who is close behind him on the list, increased his total to 73 after scoring against Malaysia last week. Last Thursday, though, Messi scored his 72nd international goal against Chile.

The Game

Sunil Chhetri scored twice late in the second half as India beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the World Cup/AFC Cup qualifiers in Doha on Monday, snapping an 11-match losing skid. India won their first FIFA World Cup qualifying match in six years.

With six points from seven matches so far, India finished third in the group. On June 15, they meet Afghanistan in their last group game.

Home the 78th minute, Chhetri headed in Ashique Kuruniyan’s cross from the left to break the tie. In additional time, he clinched the victory by curling in a shot from just inside the penalty area.