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Merdeka Cup: Sunil Chhetri scores 93rd goal for India, remains third behind Messi, Ronaldo among active goalscorers

Sunil Chhetri scored his 93rd international goal for India, against Malaysia in the semifinal of the Merdeka Cup 2023 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Malaysia on Friday.

Chettri, 39, is the third highest active goal scorer in international football behind legendary footballers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Indian captain trails FIFA World Cup winner Messi, who has scored 104 in 177 matches. and Ronaldo tops the list, having scored 123 goals from 201 appearances for Portugal.

Chettri ranks fourth when it comes it the top scorers in international football of all time since Iran’s Ali Daei has netted 109 times for his country during his playing days.


Position Player Country Goals Apperances
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 123 201
2 Ali Daei Iran 109 148
3 Lionel Messi Argentina 104 177
4 Sunil Chettri India 93 143
5 Mokhtar Dahari Malaysia 89 142

Chettri made his senior debut for India against Pakistan in 2005 and has been featuring on the scoresheets ever since. The forward, who currently plays for Bengaluru FC, has scored over 245 goals for club and country.

The last time Ronaldo scored for Portugal was in June 2023, when he bagged the 89th minute winner against Iceland in their Euro 2024 qualfier.

Messi scored his last goal in September against Ecuador in the CONMBEOL 2026 World Cup qualifier with a majestic free-kick finding the back of the net.

Messi and Ronaldo are also on an international break representing their nations in the World Cup CONMEBOL and Euro 2024 qualifiers respectively and will be looking to add to their tally.

Chettri who has played 143 games for India is still fighting and leading his team towards glory as they aimed for a comeback against Malaysia in the Merdeka Cup 2023 after their equaliser was disallowed.

India is set to face Kuwait and Qatar for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in November, where Chettri and his men would try to cause an upset being the underdogs of their group.

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