Sunil Chhetri is a legend all right but at heart, he is still a kid who jumped out of his bed and celebrated like anything during India's U-17 World Cup tie against Colombia in 2017, said his former teammate Eugeneson Lyngdoh.
Jeakson Singh scored India's first-ever goal in a FIFA World Cup in 2017 against Colombia but lost 1-2 at the end. India had hosted the showpiece youth tournament which was won by England.
"I don't exactly remember the date. We were camping in Bengaluru and the next evening we were to play our home-match against Macau, where a victory was supposed to earn India a ticket to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
"We finished practice early and rushed back to our rooms to be all glued to our TV sets -- India were playing Colombia in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017," former India midfielder Lyngdoh told the-aiff.com.
"Even as we watched it together, I felt that Sunil was actually himself playing the match. It was that phase in the match where India looked more organised, were playing well and he was kind of waving, gesturing as if he was in the dugout.
"At times he looked at me, smiled, commented, and then dived deep into the match again. And when we equalised, he jumped out of the bed, shouted, ran out of the room. He was so excited that I saw him banging the opposite room where other support staff were staying. Even before they could open the door, Sunil was back to his bed – our door left slightly opened," narrated Lyngdoh who played with Chhetri at Bengaluru FC too.
"It was at that moment that I figured that despite him being the legend that he is -- Sunil Chhetri is still a kid, and will always remain the kid. God bless him for that!
"Sunil's biggest quality as a roommate is that he will make you feel very comfortable. There is a sense of warmth in him, and that makes it easier for anyone to bond.
"But contrary to popular notion, football has hardly ever been the topic of discussion when we have been in our rooms. Our talk revolves around all other facets of the world -- environment, education, politics, our personal lives, the road which we have already walked, and the road ahead, and other stuff.
"He will just flip through and randomly start with his opinions on a recent event, and life in general. He prefers to look at the world from a different perspective without taking any sides or any allegiances," he added.
India football captain and country's football icon Chhetri is on the verge of adding another feather to his already illustrious cap as he is set to complete 15 years on the international arena on June 12.