The Hyderabad Deccan English Daily

Sunil Chhetri to play for Portugal club

Lisbon, July 5 (IBNS) It is a moment of glory for Indian football with the national team's captain Sunil Chhetri now set to play for the famous Sporting Clube de Portugal, though it its B team.

Chhetri will join Sporting Clube de Portugal's B team, which plays in the Liga de Honra, the second division football in that country.

"With the aim of breaking ground in one of FIFA's most highly regarded markets, where more than 20 million players apply their trade, Sporting has put pen to paper with the Indian national team captain, Sunil Chhetri, who will now join up with the Club's reserve side," the club said in a statement.

Sporting Clube de Portugal said it has officially opened its doors to the Indian market.

The Club is now pushing forward with a series of partnerships that make the most of Sporting's success in the area of youth training.

Sporting Clube de Portugal has long been recognised for its expertise in producing some of the world's most notable stars, which was further reinforced by Portugal's superb showing in Euro 2012, it said.

Chhetri started his football career playing for school teams and then for his local club, City Club. Since then, he has represented I-League clubs Mohun Bagan, East Bengal Club and JCT FC.

Sunil had earlier signed a three-year contract with Queen's Park Rangers in Aug 2009 but a work permit was rejected by the UK government.

At international level, Chhetri has represented India in the Nehru Cup, the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup.

He received much media attention after scoring a hat-trick in the final of the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.



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