Chhetri to lead India in Nehru Cup football tournament

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2012, 19:54 PM IST

Greater Noida: Star striker Sunil Chhetri was today named captain of the Indian team for the Nehru Cup international football tournament starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here from Wednesday.

National coach Wim Koevermans announced Chhetri`s name after a team practice session at the Jaypee Greens ground today.

Chhetri, who is in the reserve side of the Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, said, "It`s a huge honour to lead the country.

"This edition of Nehru Cup is a special one as it is being organized in the Platinum Jubilee Year of the AIFF. Captaining one`s country, that too in the capital city of your own country is a huge prize for any player," he said.

"At the same time it`s an extra burden as you cannot ever shy away from the responsibility," he added.

An upbeat Mehtab Hossain said that the home team was confident to do well in its title defence in the five-team tournament to be played in round-robin format.

"It`s up to us to keep the tradition alive in the Nehru Cup. The coach has been working hard and pinning a lot of hopes on us. We cannot let him and our country down," he said.

Defender Gourmangi Singh said that a senior player like him also need to maintain the standard.

"This is a new generation. I`ve been lucky enough to have played and learnt a lot from the likes of Bhaichung, Mahesh, Deepak and Climax. But every step is a learning one and despite being a senior, you get to update yourself when a younger bunch pushes you on the field," said the former AIFF Player of the Year.