The All India Football Federation has declared Sunil Chhetri as the AIFF Player of the Year 2011. Sunil was chosen as the winner by coaches from I-League club, who voted amongst a list of five players shortlisted for the Award. The criteria for selection was on field performance primarily in India's international matches and general conduct, both on and off the field.
Sunil who has played a total of 17 international matches in the calendar year 2011, scoring an impressive 13 goals in the process, the highest by any Indian footballer in 2011. Besides this he also scored 11 goals in 20 Club matches for Chirag United SC (now Prayag United SC) and Mohun Bagan AC in 2011. He also received the Arjuna Award in 2011 and won the Man of the Championship in the recently concluded 2011 SAFF Championship in New Delhi.
Sunil Chhetri as the AIFF Player of the Year 2011 will receive a cash award of Rs. 200,000 (2 lakh) plus a silver plaque.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das congratulated Sunil on his achievement. "I congratulate Sunil for being the AIFF Player-of-the-Year. He has had an outstanding year winning many accolades and I'm sure he will continue his good form in the New Year both for the country and his club," Kushal Das said.
When I spoke to Sunil today, he was overjoyed to receive the award and he hopes to continue to deliver for club and country in the years to come.