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Updated on May 12th 2022, 5:37:57 am

Bhaichung Bhutia's profile, records and interesting facts

Bhaichung Bhutia was popularly known as the Sikkim sniper. He is a former Indian national footballer and is considered the epitome of the rise of Indian football. Check out his profile, records and interesting facts.

Bhaichung Bhutia was popularly known as the "Sikkim sniper". He is a former Indian national footballer and is considered the epitome of the rise of Indian football. He was born on 15 December 1976 in Tinkitam, Sikkim and played as a striker all his career. Owing to his phenomenal contribution to the field of Indian football, Bhutia is fondly known as the “God’s Gift To Indian Football”. He carried Indian football on his shoulders from 1995 to 2006 cementing India's spot in International football. Bhaichung Bhutia is often considered the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena.  He made his club professional debut in 1993 for the Calcutta based east Bengal where he made nine appearances, scoring 4 goals in the league. Bhutia made his international debut on 10th March 1995 against Thailand in the Nehru cup, he was just 19 years of age. In the same tournament against Uzbekistan, Bhutia scored a goal against Uzbekistan and he became the youngest ever Indian goal scorer at 19 years of age.


Bhaichung Bhutia is the first-ever player to score a hat trick in Indian football's iconic tie the Kolkata derby. His only derby hat trick came in the federation cup semi final tie in 1997 where East Bengal defeated their rivals, Mohun Bagan by 4-1. Bhaichung Bhutia won the golden boot award in the ASEAN club championship in 2003 where East Bengal was crowned champions. The Indian striker had scored a total of nine goals including one in the final against Thailand's BEC Tero Sasana. Bhutia had also scored five goals in a single match against Philippine Army FC as East Bengal had won the tie 6-0 in the group stage of the competition. In Malaysia, Bhutia played for Perak FA on loan from Mohun Bagan, and then played for Selangor MK Land. He scored a total of 5 goals in 13 appearances for both sides. In his split career at East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, Bhutia scored 52 goals from 97 games and 25 goals from 56 games respectively.

Interesting facts:

1. Bhaichung Bhutia was honored with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2008.

2. He has also been awarded the Banga Bhushan award in 2014 and the Asian football hall of fame in the same year.

3. Bhaichung Bhutia participated in and won the third season of the celebrity dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa.

4. In 1999, he signed for Manchester-based side Bury, becoming the second Indian footballer to play professionally in Europe after Mohammed Salim. He was awarded the Arjuna award in the same year.

5. Bhaichung Bhutia is India's fourth-highest International goal scorer as he has 40 goals to his name.

6. Bhutia is also the first player to have a football stadium named after him even when he was still an active footballer.

Also Read | Top 10 Indian football legends of all time