Emotions ran high at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Thursday, June 6, as the Indian football team, led by Sunil Chhetri, faced Kuwait.

The game marked Chhetri’s final appearance in the Indian jersey, evoking tears from players, fans and celebrities. Chhetri was honored with a standing ovation, followed by a heartfelt lap of honor, where he struggled to contain his emotions. His Indian teammates then formed a guard of honor, paying tribute to his illustrious career. As India’s top goal-scorer retired with 94 goals To his credit, fans bid farewell with heavy hearts.

The official Instagram page of the Indian Super League @indiansuperleague shared a video showing Chhetri’s parents, emotional, talking about his retirement. In the video Chhetri’s mother can be heard saying, “Woh toh dukh hai hi, main toh Maa hun (It is sad, I am his mother).“ Chhetri’s father said the news shocked them. He said, “There is always a 20-30 percent indication that one day you will retire suddenly but the 70 percent is not clear though.”

They expressed how happy and proud they are of him and for him. Reacting to the video, one user wrote, “Who’s cutting onions? This is so wholesome 💙🙌🏼 thank you again Sunil sir.” Another user said, “Thanks to these two humans who gave us such a great leader legend Sunil.” A third user commented, “Legend never retire. Sunil Chhetri is always in our heart.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished Chhetri on X saying, “Welcome Sunil Chhetri @chetrisunil11 to the beginning of a glorious new journey. You start a new phase of life today. You have been a golden boy of Bengal, Captain of the Indian football team, a sports icon of Asia, a globally adored scorer, a giant achiever. I am sure that you will continue to play, add to our glory and achieve many more laurels for yourself and us. It is not a day of farewell for you. It is a day to renew your pledge to uphold the glory of your family, Bengal and India further and further. Wish and pray for your future successes.”

In another X post, @bengalurufc joined in with a carousel of images of fans expressing their emotions while bidding farewell to Chhetri. In one picture, a fan is seen holding a poster that said, “He is our Rolando, he is our Messi, he is our everything,” while another photo showed, “Thank you Sunil. Divided by East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, United by Chhetri.”

A user reacted to this post saying, “The last one hit different…💔💯 Thank you for everything captain…” Another user added, “Word. “He is our everything!”

Sachin Tendulkar also shared a post on X saying, “No goal is easy to achieve. Let alone 94 international ones. You’ve held the flag high, Sunil Chhetri. Congratulations on a remarkable career!”

Chhetri burst into tears on receiving a standing ovation from sixty-thousand fans who attended his final match.

Watch the video below:

“It’s not easy to retire from something you’re passionate about,” said one user. Another user said, “Thank you captain.” A third user wrote, “He’s been such a legend for Indian tbh world football.”

Cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal made a post on X saying, “What a run you have had! Congratulations on an amazing career @chetrisunil11 Happy Retirement, legend”