MUMBAI: Anas Edathodika has stunned Indian football team fans by announcing his retirement from international football following their elimination from the AFC Asian Cup 2019. The defender took to social media to announce the decision.
“It comes with a very heavy heart today to announce my retirement from Indian national football team. It’s been a very hard decision to take and accept. I love to play more years at my best, but I think it’s the time to step down and give opportunities to youngsters who can perform better.” Anas wrote on facebook.
“It took 11 years to break into the national team and playing for the national team is the top achievement in my career; although the journey was short. Each and every time I tried to give more than 100 percent for the team. I was so disappointed to pick up an injury in the opening minutes and it will hurt me forever.” he added.
The 31-year-old played just two minutes against Bahrain before being substituted by Salam Ranjan Singh after picking up an injury.
A relatively late newcomer to the national team set-up, Anas made his debut for India under Stephen Constantine in March 2017 in a away friendly match against Cambodia aged 30 , since then he has been a regular feature in Constantine’s side and picked up 19 caps for India.
“I just want to say a huge thanks to the coach Stephen Constantine for believing in me and giving me the opportunity and I wish you good luck for the future. Also thanks to all the coaching staffs, teammates, the fans and who all have supported me throughout my journey for the national team. I have been blessed to play for my country, with some of the best players. My heart will forever embrace the feeling of walking through the tunnel and out onto the field donning the national jersey with my brothers,” he wrote.
“Sandesh Jhingan, we had a good partnership in guarding the central defence, it was an emotion playing with you, brother. Jeje, Trust me, you’re the best room partner I ever had and I’ll miss all these. I wish you all good luck and keep making our nation proud. These memories will stay with me forever,” he added.