Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri has signed a new two-year deal with Bengaluru FC, keeping him tied to the club till at least 2023.

The 36-year-old striker, who has been at Bengaluru FC since its inception in 2013, has made 203 appearances for the club and has scored 101 goals. During that time, Chhetri has finished as the leading goal-scorer for the Blues in each of his eight seasons so far.

“I’m really happy to have signed on for two more years at Bengaluru FC. The city is home now, and the people at this club are like family to me. It feels like just yesterday that I signed for the first time here, and I have to say the journey has been nothing short of special,” Sunil Chhetri said.

“I love this club, the supporters and the city, all three of which I have a strong bond with, and I’m looking forward to being part of many more great moments with them,” he added.

A six-time AIFF Player of the Year, Sunil Chhetri led the Blues to their first league title (I-League) in 2013, and has since won five more trophies with the club which includes the Federation Cup (2015, 2017), Indian Super League (2018-19) and the Super Cup (2018).

The Bengaluru FC captain was most recently seen on the pitch with the national team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Doha, Qatar. He helped the Blue Tigers earn a place in the third round of the qualifiers for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China after finishing third in Group E.

Earlier this month, Chhetri netted a brace against Bangladesh and overtook Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in the list of highest goalscorers in international football. He will return to action with Bengaluru FC in the 2021 AFC Cup Playoff stage match against Eagles FC in August.

Featured photo: AFP / Manjunath Kiran