Chencho Gyeltshen

Chencho Gyeltshen (born 10 May 1996) is a Bhutanese international footballer who plays as a forward for the Bhutan national football team. He is also Bhutan's all-time leading international goal scorer.[5]

Chencho Gyeltshen
Chencho Gyeltshen at 2013 SAFF Cup.jpg
Gyeltshen (center) lining up for Bhutan before a match against the Maldives in the 2013 SAFF Championship
Personal information
Full name Chencho Gyeltshen
Date of birth (1996-05-10) 10 May 1996 (age 24)[1][2]
Place of birth Paro, Bhutan[3]
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) [4]
Playing position(s) Winger / Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2014 Yeedzin
2014 Druk United
2015 Thimphu 10 (20)
2015–2016 Buriram United 2 (1)
2015Surin City (loan) 11 (9)
2016 Satun United 7 (3)
2016 Thimphu 10 (15)
2016 Terton 2 (2)
2016 Chittagong Abahani 7 (5)
2017 Thimphu City 14 (22)
2017–2018 Minerva Punjab 18 (9)
2018–2019 Bengaluru 9 (2)
2019NEROCA (loan) 5 (2)
2019–2020 Paro 4 (3)
National team
2011– Bhutan 36 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:15, 20:46, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:49, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

He is affectionately nicknamed CG7 and the Ronaldo of Bhutan, because of his style of play.[6]

Early life and educationEdit

Mr.Chencho Gyeltshen hails from Paro District. He started playing football in primary school, with his brother inspiring him to play. He cites Cristiano Ronaldo as the player who is his inspiration. From class six to ten, he studied in loselling MSS. He attended Kelki Higher Secondary School until class XII. He originally intended to become a martial artist[7] before deciding to stop his studies to become a professional football player.[3]

Club careerEdit


From 2008 to 2014, he played for Yeedzin in the Bhutan National League.[8] In 2013, he won the league championship with the club.[9] With the club, he also finished runner-up in the 2013 King's Cup. The club was defeated by a score of 2–4 by Manang Marshyangdi of Nepal in the final despite Gyeltshen's two goal performance.[10]

Druk UnitedEdit

In 2014 he played for and was captain of Druk United of the Thimphu League.[11] He played for the team in the 2014 King's Cup and scored two goals against Indian club Mohun Bagan.[12]


In 2015, Chencho Gyeltshen played for Thimphu. He made his league debut for the club against Thimphu City on 5 April.[13] He scored seventeen goals in ten matches in the Thimphu League and finished the season as the league's top scorer.[14][15]

Interest abroadEdit

In 2014, he was offered to sign with Nepalese club Machhindra FC after his performance at the 2013 King's Cup and was reported to agree to join with the club but could not do so until the next year due to his studies.[2] In early 2015, Gyeltshen went on a month-long trial with Buriram United of the Thai Premier League. He played in friendlies against several Thai teams and scored the game-winning goal in the match against Thai Premier League club Sisaket F.C. after coming on as a second-half substitute. He scored five minutes after entering the match in the 80th minute. He was originally scheduled to return to Bhutan before the friendlies but was forced to stay a few days longer when his flight was cancelled.[7] While in Thailand, he was offered deals by Indian Super League clubs Delhi Dynamos and Pune City. However, no official offers were ever presented. The player said that if the offers had been made officially and had come a bit earlier he would have chosen to play in the ISL so that he could play alongside the stars that the league had been attracting in recent years.[16] With Buriram, Gyeltshen also won the Coke Cup Under-19 Championship in 2015.[17]

Surin CityEdit

In July 2015 Thai club Surin City, a reserve team of Buriram United, completed the signing of Gyeltshen from Thimphu United with the Bhutan international forward agreeing a 1.5 year contract with a monthly salary of Nu 100,000. The offer was presented to the player by Alexandre Gama, manager of the first team. With the contract, Gyeltshen became the first Bhutanese footballer to play professionally for an international club.[16] On 7 July 2015, it was revealed that the player had actually been signed by Buriram United along with two other players and was loaned immediately to Surin City.[18]

Gyeltshen made his league debut for Surin City on 5 July 2015 in a match against Kalasin. He was given the number 11 shirt.[19] By 24 September 2015, he had scored eight goals in eight league matches for Surin City,[20] including a hat-trick, after 33 rounds of the 34 round season. Surin finished in 10th position in the Northeast Division, missing out on qualification for the playoffs.[21]

Nonthaburi F.C.Edit

On 7 February 2016, it was announced that Gyeltshen would go on loan to Nonthaburi, also of the Thai Division 2.[17]

Satun UnitedEdit

Less than a month after it was announced that he would join Nonthaburi, it was announced that Gyeltshen had terminated his contract with Buriram United and signed a 2-year contract with Satun United F.C.[22] Following the season, it was announced that Gyeltshen was leaving the club.[23]

Return to ThimphuEdit

Following his departure from Satun United, Gyeltshen returned to Bhutan and signed for former club Thimphu FC. He made his first appearance back for the club on 2 July in the team's opening match against Thimphu City FC.[24] He scored his first goal back for the club on the following matchday in a match against Ugyen Academy.[25] In his first season with the club, Gyeltshen was the top scorer in the Bhutan National League with 15 goals in 10 league matches.[26]


Following the 2016 season, it was announced that Gyeltshen would be joining Bhutan National League Champions Terton for their 2017 AFC Cup qualification campaign.[27] He started the club's first match of qualification, a 0–0 draw with Tatung F.C. of Taiwan.[28] In the team's next match, Gyeltshen scored two goals as Terton defeated Sheikh Russel KC of Bangladesh 4–3 to win their group and advance to the qualifying playoff group alongside FC Dordoi Bishkek and Three Star Club.[29]

Chittagong AbahaniEdit

In October 2016 it was announced that Gyeltshen would join Chittagong Abahani of the Bangladesh Premier League for the second leg of the 2016 season on an initial 3-month contract.[30] He was spotted by the club during Bangladesh's two-leg series against Bhutan during 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification in which he scored a brace in the second match to help win the series 3–1 on aggregate.[31] With a reported monthly salary of at least US $4,000 or Nu 270,000 Gyeltshen became the highest paid athlete in the country.[32] Prior to signing with Chittagong, he also received a contract offer from Uttar Baridhara SC, another Bangladesh Premier League club. The offer was reportedly worth half of the value of his deal with Chittagong.[33] He made his debut for the club on 7 November 2016 in a league match against Mohammedan SC.[34] The match ended in a 1–0 victory.[35] Gyeltshen scored his first goal for the club on 23 November 2016 in his second appearance for the club,[36] a 2–0 victory over Uttar Baridhara SC.[37] On 30 December 2016 it was announced that Gyeltshen's stint with the club had ended and that he would return to Bhutan. In total, he scored 5 goals in 7 league matches with the club.[38]

Thimphu CityEdit

In January 2017 it was announced that Gyeltshen would be part of Thimphu City's squad for their 2017 AFC Cup qualifying play-off match against Club Valencia of the Maldives on 31 January.[39] He appeared in the eventual 0–0 draw as a 50th-minute substitute for Lungtok Dawa.[40] Thimphu City replaced Terton which advanced to the qualifying play-off by winning their group during the qualifying round.[41] Thimphu City were the first Bhutanese team to compete at this advanced of a stage in the tournament.[42] He started in the away leg and played the entire 90 minutes[43] but Thimphu City was eliminated with the 0–3 defeat at the National Stadium in Malé.[44]

During the 2017 Thimphu League season, Gyeltshen scored 22 goals in 14 league matches, making him the league's top scorer for the second consecutive season. Thimphu City were also champions of the league that season.[45] The club went on to earn second place in the 2017 Bhutan National League behind Transport United.[46]

Minerva PunjabEdit

In August 2017 it was announced that Gyeltshen joined Indian I-League side Minerva Punjab on an initial 1-year deal until May 2018.[47] He joined the club on 18 October to begin preseason training prior to the 2017–18 season.[48] Gyeltshen made his debut for the club on 31 October against reigning champions of the Punjab State Super Football League Rail Coach Factory FC in a preseason friendly.[49] Eight days later he scored a hattrick for the club in a 3–2 preseason victory over powerhouse Bengaluru FC.[50] He became a key figure in the Minerva side as they mounted a surprise title challenge, winning the title with a victory over Churchill Brothers S.C. on the final matchday.[51]

Bengaluru FCEdit

In June 2018 it was announced that Gyeltshen joined Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC on an initial one-year deal until May 2019.[52]


In January 2019, Chencho was loaned to I-league club NEROCA FC from Bengaluru FC until end of the season.[53]

International careerEdit

Gyeltshen has represented Bhutan at the U12, U13, U15, U17, and U19 levels.[54] In 2007, he was selected to play for the U13 team after noticing the team practice while he walked home from school.[7]

Gyeltshen scored on his senior début for Bhutan on 19 March 2011 in a friendly against fellow Himalayan state Nepal.[8] On 12 March 2015, he and the rest of the Bhutan team recorded its first World Cup qualification win in history with a 1–0 victory over Sri Lanka. In the second leg of the series at Bhutan's national Changlimithang Stadium, Gyeltshen scored twice, with his first goal coming in the 5th minute[55] as he lifted the ball over Sri Lanka's onrushing goalie and into the far corner of the net. With the score tied 1–1 in second half stoppage time, Gyeltshen dribbled away from the goal box in the left corner of the penalty area, spun, and struck a shot that eluded two defenders and the goalkeeper as it slipped into the near corner. The victory and reaching the second round of qualification for the first time while being ranked the lowest team in the world was described by the team as "a historic moment to remember."[6]

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Bhutan's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 19 March 2011 Pokhara Rangasala, Pokhara, Nepal     Nepal
2. 7 December 2011 Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, India   Afghanistan
2011 SAFF Championship
3. 4 September 2013 Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, Kathmandu, Nepal   Maldives
2013 SAFF Championship
4. 17 March 2015 Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu, Bhutan   Sri Lanka
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 8 October 2015   Maldives
7. 29 March 2016 National Stadium, Malé, Maldives
8. 10 October 2016 Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu, Bhutan   Bangladesh
2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification
10. 14 November 2017   Oman
2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification
Correct as of 14 November 2017[8]

International statisticsEdit

As of 3 October 2019[8]
Bhutan national team
Year Apps Goals
2011 4 2
2012 0 0
2013 3 1
2014 0 0
2015 13 3
2016 3 3
2017 5 1
2018 4 0
2019 3 0
Total 36 10



Minerva Punjab[56]



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  4. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
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External linksEdit