Cover the India football league pyramid. Starting from the Indian Super League to I-League, the Santosh Trophy the I-League 2nd Division, Calcutta Premier Division and the Hero Super Cup.
The team, which was once considered one of the best teams in Asia, had its golden era during the 1950s and early 1960s. During this period, India won gold at the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games, while finishing fourth at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Thus, India became the first Asian nation to reach the semi-final of a FIFA organised major tournament. India has never participated in the FIFA World Cup, although they did qualify by default for the 1950 World Cup after all other nations in their qualification group withdrew. However, India withdrew before the beginning of the tournament. The team has also appeared four times in the AFC Asian Cup, Asia’s top football championship and finished as runners-up in 1964. India also participates in the SAFF Championship, the top regional football competition in South Asia. They have won the tournament eight times since it began in 1993 and by doing so became the most successful team in the region.
They are nicknamed ‘The Blue Tigers’. It is inspired by the colour Blue which forms the primary colour of the team’s home kit. And the Tiger which is the national animal of India. India and Pakistan share an intense rivalry in any given sport. The tense relations between the two nations which arose from the Partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, the Indo-Pakistani Wars, and the Kashmir conflict has established the rivalry. India has won the most number of games. There have been seven draws and three wins for Pakistan among the 25 games played so far.
Sunil Chhetri is arguably the greatest player in the history of Football in India. As of 16 October 2021, Chhetri is the second joint-highest international goalscorer. Along with Lionel Messi, among the active players, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, and fifth-highest of all time. He is both the most-capped player and the all-time top goalscorer for India. He has scored a total of 80 goals in 125 matches for the Indian national team. That means he averages 0.64 goals a game. The players after him on the topscorers list are not even close. I.M. Vijayan has scored just 29 goals in 66 games and therefore occupies second place in the list.
Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002. Moving to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games. He signed for MLS side Kansas City Wizards in 2010, becoming the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad. He returned to India’s I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad. To Sporting CP of the Primeira Liga, where he played for the club’s reserve side. Chhetri helped India win the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup. As well as the 2011, 2015, and 2021 SAFF Championship. He has also helped India win the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which qualified them for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years. By scoring twice in the final tournament in 2011. Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year a record six times in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018–19. Chhetri received the Arjuna Award in 2011 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Padma Shri award in 2019, India’s fourth-highest civilian award. In 2021, he received the Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honour and became the first footballer to receive the award.