In the last leg of his glittering career, India football captain Sunil Chhetri will be the cynosure as the Blue Tigers look to regain the Intercontinental Cup, which begins here on Friday.
While Lebanon and Vanuatu will play in the tournament opener, hosts India will take on Mongolia in the day’s second match, kicking off their campaign against the lowest-ranked team (No 183) in the tournament.
The Blue Tigers, ranked 101 in the Fifa rankings, will enter the tournament as the second-highest-ranked team, with Lebanon (99) ahead of them by two places.
With 84 goals to his name from 131 international appearances, the most by an Indian, Chhetri has set numerous records over the last two decades.
As far as the tournament is concerned, no player has made an impact like the India skipper who scored 11 of India’s 16 goals in the event. Chhetri is the only player to score a hat-trick in the competition.
The Blue Tigers won the inaugural edition in 2018 but found the going tough in 2019, which was won by Korea, while India finished fourth in the group.
Fresh from winning the Tri-Nation Cup, Igor Stimac’s side will look to improve its show in the four-nation meet, which returns after four years following the pandemic.
Lebanon vs Vanatu (4.30pm)
India vs Mongolia (7.30pm) Live on Star Sports Network