It means a lot to achieve 25 clean sheets: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Goalkeeper Sandhu, who registered his 25th clean sheet in national colours during India's recent win against Kuwait, aspires for more success with the national team.
Indian football team goalkeeper Gupreet Singh Sandhu hopes to achieve more success with the national team in the coming years. During India’s recent World Cup Qualifier win against Kuwait, Sandhu registered his 25th clean sheet in national colours. The Bengaluru FC custodian set a new national record for the most clean sheets by an Indian keeper on the international stage.
Sandhu made his debut for the national team in 2011, but started playing regularly for the national team in 2015. He has been the first choice keeper for India since then and has helped his team win points on many occasions. Reflecting on his achievement, Sandhu credited his teammates and was confident of achieving more success.
“It means a lot to achieve such numbers (25 clean sheets), and they will mean even more if we keep getting success as a team and move forward,” he said in an interview with the-aiff.com.
“It's easy to give a goalkeeper more credit for a clean sheet, but trust me, the 10 players in front earn it first by putting in the work," he further added.
India face the defending AFC Asian Cup champions, Qatar, in their next FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier game, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The veteran keeper was between the sticks when India recorded a goalless draw against Qatar away from home in 2019 and put up a solid show in goal, helping India keep a clean sheet.
Sandhu displayed his supremacy under the bar with 11 crucial saves and was instrumental in India pulling off a positive result against one of Asia’s biggest teams. The Punjab-born goalie wore the captain’s armband in that match in the absence of Sunil Chhetri. Throughout the entire match, Sandhu was unbeatable with his point-blank range saves and cat-like reflexes.
Recalling this remarkable match, Sandhu said, "I remember going into that game knowing that there was no pressure on us.”
“It wasn’t just one man but all of us together with one thought - to make it difficult for the opponent, play the long game, stay alive for as long as we can, and who knows, we can get something out of it," Sandhu added.
This match definitely has special importance to Sandhu, as it was the first time India earned their first points against Qatar.
"I always felt after that game that I have played tougher games than that (0-0 vs Qatar), but the results didn’t end up in clean sheets. I would say it is definitely in the top five games in my memory.”
Sandhu also believes that the Indian national football team has come a long way in terms of quality and mentality in comparison to 2019. With such an aggressive team that is eager to win in every condition, he anticipates a positive result on their home soil in their upcoming match.
"We are a different team now. More evolved, less scared, more aggressive, and hungry,” Sandhu shared.
“We don’t need to look that far for inspiration. Now, we have players who have played more football together over the years and are peaking. We have definitely moved upwards from 2019 as a team. Our recent performances are a testament for us to keep pushing and believing," he concluded.