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"Great Loss For Indian Football": Bhaichung Bhutia's Emotional Take On Sunil Chhetri's Retirement

Batting maestro Virat Kohli, 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh and former star footballer Bhaichung Bhutia were among the leading sports personalities who lauded Sunil Chhetri's achievements after the iconic India striker on Thursday announced his decision to retire from international football. Chhetri, the long-serving national team captain announced his decision to call it a day after the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6.

Commenting on Chhetri's video post on Instagram, Kohli wrote for his good friend: "My brother. Proud." Yuvrai called him a legend, saying the legacy of the 39-year-old veteran of 150 national appearances will remain for a very long time.

"A real legend of the game who took Indian football onto the global stage. Your passion has inspired a generation to take up the game... your legacy in Indian sports will be remembered can look back with pride as you get set for your final game, thank you legend," wrote Yuvraj in an Instagram story.

Chhetri, who made his international debut in 2005, has scored 94 goals for the country. He will leave the scene as India's all-time top scorer and most-capped player.

Legendary India forward Bhutia, who Chhetri succeeded as captain, told PTI that it was a great loss for Indian football.

"Sunil, no doubt, will go down as one of the greatest players India had ever produced. His contribution to Indian football is immense. It's a great loss for Indian football," said Bhutia, the former India captain.

"I am fortunate to have played with him as senior player. When I came in (I M) Vijayan was senior to me, after that Sunil (Chhetri) came. I am fortunate to have served Indian football in between two stalwarts of Indian football,"