A file photo of Sunil Chhetri. Photograph:( Twitter )
Chhetri expressed delight after receiving the award and assured all kind of support from his side for the development of football in the capital city.
Star Indian striker Sunil Chhetri was awarded the first-ever ‘Football Ratna’ by Football Delhi, the State Association governing the sport in the national capital.
Delhi Football president of Shaji Prabhakaran presented the honour at a function which was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Chhetri, who was recently named as the 6th Indian Footballer in the elite Padma Shri list expressed delight after receiving the award and assured all kind of support from his side for development of football in the capital city.
“I am honoured by the kind gesture of Football Delhi for recognising me with the Football Ratna award,” AIFF quoted Chhetri, as saying.
“My support will always be there for the development of football in Delhi. I am sure the current management is working hard to develop football and make Delhi a model football state in India. My best wishes to everyone associated with the sport in Delhi,” he added.
Chhetri who stays second in the list of goal scorers among active players in World Football at the moment, had begun his football career in Delhi.
Prabhakaran mentioned that “Football Delhi is inspired by Sunil’s spectacular achievements".“It is a great honour for us to confer first ever ‘Football Ratna’ to Sunil Chhetri, and we express our gratitude and thanks to Sunil for his time and inspiration to develop football in Delhi,” he stated.
"We at Football Delhi are inspired by the spectacular achievements of Sunil Chhetri. His professionalism, dedication, discipline and passion, on and off the field is an example not only for the Indian football fraternity but also for every Indian to dream big and achieve something spectacular in life,” he added.
Meanwhile, Football Delhi also recognised Shubham Sarangi, youth player from Delhi who is currently playing for the ISL franchise Delhi Dynamos FC. Shubham was part of AIFF Youth Academy for 12 years and has represented India in U-14 and U-17 National Teams.