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celebrities bid farewell to Sunil Chhetri as he announces his retirement

Sunil Chhetri, the captain of India's national football team, has finally retired from international football. Chhetri played his last match between India and Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier on Thursday.

On Thursday, Chhetri had taken to his Instagram handle to announce his retirement, posting a picture of himself standing alone in a stadium. His simple yet powerful caption, "Alright, then," was met with an outpouring of emotions from his fans and fellow celebrities. Ranveer Singh was among the first to comment, expressing his sadness with a teary-eyed emoji. Pankaj Tripathi, meanwhile, wished Chhetri "lots of love and best wishes."

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A post shared by Sunil Chhetri (@chetri_sunil11)

Reacting to this, many celebrities, including Arjun Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, and Sachin Tendulkar among others took to their respective social media handles to express their gratitude and admiration for Chhetri's remarkable achievements.

Abhishek Bachchan posted a picture of Sunil Chhetri on Instagram. In the photo, Chhetri is seen standing with folded hands in the stadium. He is wearing a football jersey. Sharing the photo, he wrote, “Cap, on such a legendary career! It has been a pleasure to see you play for the country and lead by example. To one of the greatest ever Indian sportsmen. Thank You!”

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A post shared by Abhishek Bachchan (@bachchan)

 Arjun Kapoor, who is a true football fan, posted a heartfelt note for Sunil Chhetri on his Instagram story. Arjun shared a picture of the football icon and called the moment, the 'end of an era'.

“End of an era. Thank you, Sunil Chhetri for the memories, the passion and the unmatched dedication," his Instagram story reads.

Check out the screenshot of his Instagram story here:

arjun kapoor uploaded a story on sunil chhetri's retirement

Apart from Bollywood celebrities, former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar also paid tribute to Sunil Chhetri. Sharing a picture of him from his last match on Instagram, he wrote, “No goal is easy to achieve, let alone 94 international ones. You have held the flag high, Sunil Chhetri. Congratulations on a remarkable career!

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A post shared by Sachin Tendulkar (@sachintendulkar)

Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002, moving to JCT, where he scored 21 goals in 48 games. He helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cups, as well as the 2011, 2015, 2021, and 2023 SAFF Championships. He also led India to victory in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which qualified them for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years.

He received the Arjuna Award in 2011 for his outstanding sporting achievement and the Padma Shri Award in 2019, India’s fourth highest civilian award. In 2021, he bagged the Khel Ratna Award and became the first footballer to receive the award.