Chhetri, who had earlier won the Award twice in 2007 and 2011, was chosen the winner after voting by I-League Coaches at AIFF Headquarters. (Agencies)
"It feels great and I am very thankful to all the Coaches for voting for me. But then I don't take it too seriously. It feels good for a while and then you ought to brush it off and move on," Chhetri said.
"Sometimes Awards can make you complacent and if you become so, then it doesn't take much time for your form to dip. All these years I have learnt to deal with adulations and criticism in a normal way. Honestly, I'm still learning."
Chhetri, who is presently India's highest-ever goal-scorer in International Football with 43 goals, will be presented a prize of Rs. 2 lakh besides a Trophy. The Indian captain thus became only the second player after IM Vijayan to have won the Award thrice.
"I have been very fortunate to have amazing lads as my Teammates -- my mates from Churchill Brothers and presently from Bengaluru FC. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the Players that I have played with for my National Team as none of those 43 goals would have been possible without their support," Chhetri said.
"I also need to thank the Coaching staff of both the Clubs that I have played this year and obviously from the National Team."
Asked about his most pleasant moment of 2013, Chhetri said: "Winning the I-League crown with Churchill Brothers and joining an amazing Club like Bengaluru FC. Scoring the 43rd goal for my Country -- that too in front of my mom who watched the match from the stands at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri was indeed special too!"
Chhetri, who had earlier won the Award twice in 2007 and 2011, was chosen the winner after voting by I-League Coaches at AIFF Headquarters.