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The ‘Stat’ Which Places Sunil Chhetri Above Cristiano Ronaldo And Lionel Messi

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri is a true goalscoring phenomenon, at least as far as the international arena is concerned. Among active players, Chhetri sits at the third position, behind the greats Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Among the all-time goalscorers in international football, Chhetri is 4th, with Ali Daei joining Ronaldo and Messi on the list. But, there’s one specific stat in which the Indian football legend is ahead of even the all-time greats like Ronaldo and Messi.

With his hat-trick against Pakistan in India’s SAFF Championship opener, Chhetri reached 90 goals in international football. Ronaldo, leading the list, has 123 goals while Messi has 103. However, the game-to-goal ratio that Chhetri has sees him slot above the GOAT duo in the list.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 123 goals in 200 games | Goals-per-game: 0.615
  • Lionel Messi: 103 goals in 173 games | Goals-per-game: 0.595
  • Sunil Chhetri: 90 goals in 138 games | Goals-per-game: 0.652

As can be seen from the stats, Chhetri scores 0.652 goals per game, which is better than both Ronaldo and Messi.

All three of Ronaldo, Messi, and Chhetri are on the wrong side of thirty, with there being no guarantees over how long they plan to remain active footballers.

While Messi and Ronaldo are already playing in retirement leagues — the USA and Saudi Arabia respectively — Chhetri is still playing football actively in India.

On the international stage, Ronaldo’s career received a big lifeline with the arrival of Roberto Martinez as the head coach after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Messi, on the other hand, doesn’t plan to play in the next World Cup but wants to enjoy this last phase as a world champion with the Argentina national team.

For Chhetri, who remains irreplaceable in the Indian team, the end of a glorious career might not be too far too.

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