India don’t need me to make a difference

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Sunil Chhetri

Kolkata, October 14: Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri, who has already scored 72 international goals in 112 matches believes that ‘India Team won’t need” him to make a difference when the Blue Tigers go out against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

“India team won’t need a Sunil Chhetri to make a difference. I’m just a little bit luckier and a little bit more experienced. I’m not trying to be cliché, it’s a fact,” Chhetri mentioned in the pre-match press conference ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Joint Qualifier at the VYBK Stadium, Kolkata on Tuesday.

On being informed that Bangladesh defenders will heavily mark him, he jokingly said, “That’s the plan”,

“If three people mark me, even four, we’ll be happy. We can even have tea together,” he quipped.

“It’ll be 10 vs 6, and we’ll get a numerical advantage. You need to understand that it’s not only about me. Manvir, Balwant, Udanta, Ashique all are way better than me. You’ll see it tomorrow,” the 35-year-old added.

Coach Igor Stimac brushed aside the ‘favourites’ tag and stressed on the ‘team mentality’ during the pre-match press conference.

“Being favourite doesn’t matter on the matchday. You need to step up and perform on the pitch. It’s 11 vs 11. In a football match, there are always favourites and underdogs,” Stimac added, “You have to respect your teammates. You need to sacrifice yourself for the team – that’s how a team is built and that’s how we have started our work. What I can do for the team is of paramount importance.”

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