After 5,61,856 votes over 19 days, Sunil Chhetri was voted as the favourite player of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup by fans, edging out Eldor Shomurodov of Uzbekistan in the final.
The poll was conducted by Asian Football Confederation on their official Instagram handle as Indians flooded the profile to vote for their Captain, Leader, Legend.
Sunil Chhetri beat Shomurodov 51-49 percent votes in the votes after and trailing in the initial stages of the voting. Chhteri was earlier named an Asian Icon by the AFC on his 34th birthday.
At the tournament in United Arab Emirates, India defeated Thailand 4-1 before losing to hosts UAE and Bahrain to crash out in the group stage.
1️⃣9️⃣ days, 5️⃣6️⃣1️⃣,8️⃣5️⃣6️⃣ votes
The #AsianCup2019 favourite player has been decided.
Congratulations 🇮🇳 Sunil Chhetri! pic.twitter.com/eiVKWHQ4GV
— #AsianCup2023 (@afcasiancup) August 1, 2020
Chhetri recently completed 15 years at the highest level for India, having played for the national men's football team 115 times and scoring 72 goals. He made his debut against neighbours Pakistan in Quetta on June 12, 2005.
He is the second highest international scorer among active footballers, behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and above Argentina's Lionel Messi.
At age 35, Chhetri has been constantly asked about his future plans and when he will deem fit to hang up his boots, with Chhetri letting his feet do most of the talking.
In a recent interview the Indian footballer was fielded the same and he said that: "I am enjoying my football and am not going away anytime soon."
"I am fortunate to have played 15 years for my country. It is a dream, 3-4 years more probably and it will be (nearly) 20 years. Who would have thought to play 20 years and so I am living on my dream," he added.
Sunil Chhetri will next be in action for the Blue Tigers, as the Indian men's national team is also known as, in the joint qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
India will face Qatar at home on October 8, then take on Bangladesh away on November 12 and host Afghanistan on 17th of the same month.