Bengaluru: Two-time I-League champions Bengaluru FC have retained their iconic captain and striker Sunil Chhetri, who has extended his stay at the club by three years.
Bengaluru FC had had a difficult outing in the 2016/17 I-League, finishing a lowly fourth, as minnows Aizawl FC ran away with the title. However, Chhetri tasted success in the Federation Cup under coach Albert Roca, defeating rivals Mohun Bagan in the final to lift the trophy.
Bengaluru, who are set to take part in the Indian Super League (ISL) from the upcoming season have announced the retention of Chhetri, who completes the maximum number of over-21 players a club can retain.
The Blues also announced the signing of 21-year-old forward Udanta Singh, who has also signed a three-year deal with the club.
“We are thrilled at being able to retain the present and the future of Indian football in Sunil and Udanta. The two of them have been immense for Bengaluru FC and will be vital cogs in our wheel as we take on the challenge of rebuilding the club for what will be a tough season ahead,” said club CEO Parth Jindal.
Chhetri, who has already spent four seasons at the Kanteerava Stadium, spoke of his love for the club and its fans, after he signed the new deal with them.
“I’ve always been vocal about how Bengaluru FC is a club that is always close to my heart and I couldn’t be happier to commit three years to the blue shirt of BFC,” said the India and BFC captain. “The Bengaluru FC fans have always shown me so much of love and I’m glad at the prospect of playing in front of them yet again. With Bengaluru in the ISL, these are exciting times at the club and I’m sure we will build the best possible squad for the season.”
Earlier this year, Chhetri became the fourth highest active scorer in international football, netting 54 times in 94 appearances for India. The 32-year-old overtook England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney on this list, and is currently behind global football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo (73 goals from 139 appearances), Lionel Messi (58 goals from 118 appearances), and Clint Dempsey (56 goals from 134 appearances....