AFC Asian Cup 2019 : Sunil Chhetri and his father-in-law share India football pride



With the AFC Asian Cup 2019 just around the corner, India fans are looking ahead at how their team will fare.

Naturally, they’re also looking at how skipper Sunil Chhetri will help lead the team throughout the competition.

However, the pair of eyes that might be looking with even more interest is in Chhetri’s father-in-law who will undoubtedly be watching the action.

Subrata Bhattacharya is a Mohun Bagan legend and took part in the AFC Asian Cup 1984 and will be watching his son-in-law carry the torch for the national team.

Chhetri married Bhattacharya’s daughter Sonam in 2017 and will put his name on the record books as the first Indian to play in two AFC Asian Cups.

The elder Bhattacharya is quoted saying: “It is a very proud moment for our family to have two members to have played in the AFC Asian Cup. I played in 1984, and Sunil in 2011. Now, he will represent India in his second Asian Cup—a feat not many Indians have been able to achieve. It makes us three times prouder.”

In an interview with the AIFF, Bhattacharya revealed he saw talent in Chhetri at a young age, leading to him being handpicked for Mohun Bagan.

The former said: “I had seen his talent when he was just a teenager and gave him his National Football League debut for Mohun Bagan.

“Both Sunil and Subrata (Paul) were among the many kids who had come for trials at Mohun Bagan. I hand-picked them, based on their talent. The rest is history. Arguably they are two of the best players in their respective positions the country has ever seen.”

Chhetri and India will play hosts UAE, Thailand and Bahrain in Group A of the competition and will hope to make it through to the next round.

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