The power couple also revealed when they first started seeing each other and more.

While facing the many ups and downs in his career, Sunil Chhetri has had the constant support of his wife, Sonam Bhattacharya. The couple have been married since 2017, but go way back. All the way back to Sunil’s early days at Mohun Bagan.

At 18, Chhetri joined the Green and Maroon brigade. The then Head Coach Subrata Bhattacharya, a Bagan legend and one of the most iconic names in the Kolkata Maidan, went home one day to tell his family about a new ‘kid’ that had come from Delhi.

Baba used to speak a lot about him (Sunil) at home. In spite of so many players being in the squad, he kept on speaking about the little boy who was very naughty in training. He would apply hair gel, something Baba couldn’t tolerate. Yet, he loved him so much that he hardly mentioned anything other than him,” said Sonam in an interaction with Zee 24 Ghanta.

“I was instantly curious. I wanted who find out who this boy was had caught the attention of Baba, so much so that he compared him to Dada (Sonam’s brother).”

“When I first heard about him, matches weren’t broadcasted live. I recall he scored a goal against Tollygunge Agragami, and I saw him for the first time in the newspapers the next day. I called him up after that, and stayed in touch ever since.”

The two love birds have now been together for 18 years. Speaking about the longevity, the Indian captain quipped, “The most important thing is hard work. To keep a relationship alive for eighteen years is not easy. You really have to work hard. So just saying “I love you” is easy, but showing it through your actions isn’t as simple.

“So, we’ve worked really hard, her more than me, to reach where we are today. I’m so glad that she chose me. You’ve got to get your partner right in life. It is very very important. It is more important than what people think.”

The Proposal

“I went to their house at 7:30 am to ask her father. I had a long speech ready. Saheb (Sonam’s brother) was there as well. Coach (Subrata), seeing me all dressed up, asked me to loosen up and put on some shorts,” recalled Sunil Chhetri about the special day.

“The 20 lines that I had prepared didn’t work. I said one line and it was done. Generally, when Coach talks to me, I try to speak in Bengali. But when I spoke in English, he knew it was something serious. He told me that he liked me and if we both are happy, you have my blessings.”

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