Players with the most appearances for India in International Football

Let's look at the Indian footballers who have made the most appearances for India in International Football. Only two players have more than 100 appearances for the Indian football team.

Abishek Goswami
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Sunil Chhetri has made the most appearances for India

Sunil Chhetri has made the most appearances for India

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Playing for the national team is huge for any individual. Over the decades, several talented players have shown their passion, love, and dedication to Indian football, representing the nation with pride. Like Legendary Indian striker, Sunil Chhetri has left his mark on Indian football. He is the first player in the history of Indian football to make 150 appearances. So, let's look at the players with the most appearances for India in International Football.

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Players with the most appearances for India in International Football

1. Sunil Chhetri (150 apps*)

Sunil Chhetri holds the record of making most appearances for the Indian National football team

Sunil Chhetri, the current captain of the Indian national team, is one of the greatest Indian footballers ever. In his 21-year career, Chhetri has made 150 appearances for the national team, scoring 94 goals. His 150th appearance for India came during the FIFA qualifier game against Afghanistan. He also scored a goal in that match but unfortunately, the Blue Tigers lost the game. He has constantly shown his passion, love, and dedication towards the game for the last two decades. Chhetri is the third-highest international goalscorer among active players (fourth overall). The 39-year-old individual doesn't get much of a game-time now but is still one of the most key players in the Blue Tigers' setup. 

2. Bhaichung Bhutia (107 apps)

Most Appearances: Bhaichung comes second in the list

Bhaichung Bhutia is one of the greatest footballers in Indian and Asian history. He is often called the Sikkimese Sniper because of his shooting skills in football. Bhaichung has represented India 107 times in international matches and scored 27 goals. He played for top Indian clubs and even played for some foreign clubs. The Sikkimese Sniper made his senior international debut in the Nehru Cup against Thailand at the age of 19 and played his last game for the Blue Tigers against South Korea in 2011. His legacy is unmatched and Bahichung was the first player to appear in 100 matches in Blue Tiger's footballing history.

3. IM Vijayan (88 apps)

Most appearances: IM Vijayan comes third in the list

IM Vijayan appeared in 88 matches and scored 34 goals for India. His involvement in the attacking third was instrumental in India’s success during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Vijayan was honored with the Indian Player of the Year awards in 1993, 1997, and 1999, a feat achieved by no other player at that time. The forward took his retirement from International football after the Afro-Asian Games in 2003.

4. Shabbir Ali (81 apps)

The legendary Indian striker and manager, Shabbir Ali represented India in 81 matches, netting 23 goals. He played for Mohammedan Sporting and East Bengal. In 1976, Shabbir Ali scored a hat-trick against Indonesia in the first 35 minutes. Only five footballers in India have scored an international hat-trick and Shabbir Ali is the fastest. In 2011, he was honored with the Dhyan Chand Award.

5. Mahesh Gawli (79 apps)

Mahesh Gawli comes fifth in the list

Mahesh Gawli, the former center-back earned 79 caps for the national team. He is one of the best defenders in Indian football history, receiving several awards for his brilliance on the field. At present, Gawli is serving as the assistant coach of the Indian national team. Mahesh was the backbone of India’s defence for more than a decade. He won the SAFF Championships title twice in 2005 and 2011. 

Football Indian Football Sunil Chhetri Bhaichung Bhutia