Sporting Lisbon sign India captain Chhetri

The striker, who has netted 33 goals in 58 appearances for his country, has penned a two-year deal and will line out for the Portuguese outfit's 'B' team

Sporting Lisbon have announced the signing of Sunil Chhetri following the expiration of the forward's contract with Mohun Bagan.

The India captain has signed a two-year deal with the Primeira Liga outfit's B team and is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to prove himself in the Portuguese capital.

"It is a real pleasure for me and an exciting moment in my career to be joining a European giant like Sporting Lisbon," he told his new club's official website.

"I have dreamt of this day and always believed that my time will come. It is now a reality. Sporting Lisbon, my agent Yogesh Joshee has made it possible for me and I will make it count for India. Thank you so much."

Sporting, meanwhile, hope that the deal will both boost their profile in Asia and also aid the development of the game in Chhetri's homeland.

"We have reached out to Indian football, a market estimated by Fifa contain more than 20 million players, and in this context, Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian national team and an idol in that country, who symbolises the dreams of all young players who aspire to play in Europe, will join the roster of the 'B' team," a statement on the club's official website read.

"With our experience in detecting and developing top players, we are ready, together with local partners, to find the best solutions to accelerate the development of football in India and find values that young people are likely to integrate in other areas of their growth.

"A demonstration of the quality of our services reflects well on our business value in one of the world’s most emerging markets."

Chhetri, who had a short spell with Kansas City Wizards two years ago, has netted 33 goals in 58 appearances for India.