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Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Hopes Sunil Chhetri Keeps on Playing Like 52-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said that Sunil Chhetri is the backbone of Indian football and hoped that he carries on playing like Japan's Kazuyoshi Miura.

News18 Sports

Updated:January 13, 2020, 10:35 AM IST
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Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Hopes Sunil Chhetri Keeps on Playing Like 52-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura
Sunil Chhetri. (Photo Credit: @IndianFootball)

New Delhi: Indian national football team and Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu requested Sunil Chhetri to 'carry on' like Japan's 'King Kazu'.

The 27-year-old keeper took to social media to ask his compatriot and club-mate to continue playing.

"Shri Padma Shri Sunil Chhetri, I hope you carry on like Mr Kazuyoshi Miura," Sandhu tweeted with the hashtags  #BackBoneOfIndianFootball and #AgeIsJustANumber.

The message for Indian striker was prompted by the news of one of the longest careers in football extending his playing career as 52-year-old striker Kazuyoshi Miura signed a contract with J-League club Yokohama FC on Saturday.

Miura, who will turn 53 on Feb. 26, will enter his 35th season this year. Miura played in just three matches last year and did not score any goals but extended his record as the oldest player in the J-League.

Miura joined Yokohama FC in 2005 and in March of 2017 became the oldest player to appear in a professional match at the age of 50 years and seven days, catching global media attention by surpassing England legend Stanley Matthews' longevity record.

Miura, who has the nickname "King Kazu", played for Brazilian club Santos and in Italy with Genoa earlier in his career, and represented Japan's national team 89 times, scoring 55 goals.

Earlier this month, Chhetri had said that he does not have "many" games left for the national team.

"I understand that I don't have many games left to play for my nation," Chhetri said on Friday.

He added that he wants to work even more harder on his game.

"There's no point in jumping the gun. Hence, personally I want to take one game at a time," said Chhetri who is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo on the list of active international scorers in world football.

Chhetri, India's record goal-scorer, was dubbed by India head coach Igor Stimac as "having the body of a 29-year old."

"I need to work harder now," he quipped when pushed about Stimac's comment.

Chhetri, who has 72 goals to his name, admitted that he aims to be a better person that what he was in 2019.

(With inputs from AP and PTI)

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