After his emotional video seeking support for the national team going viral on social media, Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri has said that he had never expected the video to create so much impact. Chhetri also thanked Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli for showing support.
Sunil Chhetri is set to play his 100th international match against Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai today. Through a video uploaded on his Twitter handle, he requested Indian sports fans to come and watch the team play.
His plea was backed by cricket captain Virat Kohli. Through his video, Kohli said that the people of the country should accept and support all sports equally if we want India to become a sporting nation.
Chhetri, on the other hand, is quite awestruck with the reaction his video has been getting. “It (the video) wasn’t for the special occasion. My phone is hanged. I never knew it is going to have that kind of impact. I thank everyone who has joined in. It is a simple message,” he said.
The Indian skipper added, “We played the game and was great to go and celebrate with the Blue Pilgrims and a few Mumbai fans but then I was talking to Sandesh (Jhinghan) about how Kerala has done well, Chennai does well, BFC is going well. The top most is Kerala Blasters, where a player can’t hear each other and the atmosphere takes everything from you.”
The Indian football team had played their first match of the Intercontinental Cup against Chinese Taipei. The fact that the stadium was relatively empty made the football captain urge people to show support in their remaining matches of the tournament by visiting the stadium to watch the matches.
“You want to live the 90 minutes, this is what we want to feel. This is something we couldn’t feel here. Not request to watch Sunil Chhetri, but we are wearing the Blue and it will be great (if people support us),” he said.
“That’s why I just went on Twitter. I never thought it’s going to follow hits. I got some 1,000 messages on WhatsApp. I hope everyone takes it in the right way because it was from my heart, there was no hidden agenda. I thank everyone who joined in, it really helps, Virat (Kohli) and all joined it, it was a sweet gesture,” Chhetri added.
On being asked about the video, Sunil Chhetri clarified that it was a completely unplanned, one-take video. “I didn’t think twice (before shooting the video). It wasn’t planned. It is something that I felt that I am going to make it, I did not talk to my team, just posted it. So whatever reaction I am getting, most of them are positive. If you are saying, somebody thinks that I was pleading, I don’t feel ashamed,” he said.