Bengaluru, January 3: As the New Year dawned, Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri has not set any long term targets for himself, possibly hinting that his international career is at its fag end.
"I understand that I don't have many games left to play for my country. There's no point in jumping the gun. Hence, personally I want to take one game at a time," Chhetri was quoted as saying in the AIFF website.
Though India's Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup hopes are fading, Chhetri sees no reason why the country can't make it to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup to be held in China.
"As a team, we need to win as many games as possible. The eventual aim is to qualify for AFC Asian Cup China 2023. We need to be consistently qualifying for the Continental Championship and there can be no compromise on that aspect," he said.
"The belief in the squad is unmistakable. There's no reason why we can't be in China," he added.
The 35-year-old, who leads Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League was only recently dubbed by national team coach Igor Stimac as "having the body of a 29-year old".
Chhetri said he has to work hard to maintain his fitness levels while adding that he was aiming "to be a better person than what I was in 2019."
"Little by little, not by making big promises, I need to be calmer, read more, spend more time with my loved ones, and be more mindful about nature and environment," he said.
(With inputs from AIFF)