The plea brought about an outpouring of emotion but Sunil Chhetri's detailing of what went into making the video, that had him seek fan support with folded hands, brought the house down a few days ago. Fresh from netting eight goals in the title-winning Intercontinental Cup campaign in Mumbai, Chhetri spoke about his thoughts leading up to the Twitter video that got thousands of retweets and lakhs of likes but more importantly infused new life into Indian football's fandom.
"Actually I am ageing. That's why you get these weird kind of thoughts in the morning when you don't get your breakfast on time. And then you post that kind of a video message," Chhetri quipped when asked what was on his mind the day he posted the twitter video that ensured sold out turnouts in the tournament.
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"Had my PR team got a whiff of it, they wouldn't have allowed me to post that message. Kya karein buddhe ho rahein aur ab shaadi bhi ho gayi hain (What to do, I am getting old and now I am married too)," Chhetri joked during a promotional event here.
It wasn't the first time he was answering the question but it was the first time the veteran chose to answer it in a lighter vein.
The three and a half minute video was one of the most stirring moments of Indian sports last week in which Chhetri touched a chord when he asked the fans to show up even if just to abuse the team.
See the video:-
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018
Today, he blamed a tiny bit of that emotion to ageing as well and expectedly a question cropped up on his future. The skipper was quick to turn serious at the very suggestion of the 'R' word.
"It was a joke sir. I am not going anywhere. I am very much here and playing the game," said Chhetri.
As the event was about KIA Motors sponsoring young Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) to the upcoming Russia World Cup, Chhetri spoke about how parents need to encourage their kids to pursue the sport.
"My parents were extremely supportive when I wanted to pursue football. My mother had played for the Nepal national team and she knew what it meant to represent the country.
"That's why I keep telling parents that please encourage your child. You need to be extremely patient with them. One day they will come up and tell that they want to become Bhaichung Bhutia.
"The next day they will say that they want to become Leander Paes. On another day, they would like to become doctor or engineer. You can't lose patience with your kids," he said.
(With PTI Inputs)