India men’s national team skipper and talisman, Sunil Chhetri has opened up on playing at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, hailing the city and the fans by claiming that, “Football fans in Kolkata never fail you”.
The Blue Tigers are currently preparing for the upcoming 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers which take place in Kolkata, where they have been drawn in Group D alongside Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Cambodia.
India open their Asian Cup qualifier campaign on June 8, when they take on Cambodia and Chhetri believes that playing in Kolkata is an advantage for his side.
“It (Playing at Salt Lake stadium) is a surreal feeling, and the respect has been a mutual one. For the past few years, I have been playing against them for the club, but whenever I have worn the National team jersey, it’s always been genuine support, and that’s what I am expecting even this time. Football fans in Kolkata will never fail you,” he said as quoted by ISL’s official website.
“Simply because we have got home advantage, I’d say it would have been better if we got two games purely on the fact that we are playing at home. But it is what it is. It doesn’t matter now, and everyone has a fair chance. Playing at home comes with its own advantage, as much, there will be pressure,” the striker added.
The 37-year-old who is India’s all-time record goalscorer will be hoping to lead his country to the main group stage and get back into the groove considering that he is just returning from a long-term injury.