Baichung Bhutia, the name synonymous with Indian Football, has taken the final call on his retirement today citing frequent and persistent injury as the main problem.
He said that he failed to cope up with the injuries that also prevented him from playing in major part of the Asian Cup 2011 tournament.
“Under the circumstances, this was the best decision. I made several attempts in the last few months to make a comeback, but could not because of recurring injuries.”
He pointed out that he would retire from International circuit but will continue to play club football specially for his club USFC. It is learnt that Bhutia wants to retire wearing Red & Gold jersey of the East Bengal club which introduced Bhutia into mainstream Kolkata football.
The 35 year old veteran has played a major role in bringing some share of the limelight in the cricket-crazy nation that India is. He has gone on to play for English 1st Division Club Bury FC and also represented Perak FA successfully. Bhutia has also rubbed shoulders with the likes of Seedorf, Ballack, Dida, Mark van Bommell etc in charity matches.
Bhutia says that he is disappointed that India is lagging behind in the football circuit despite having a billion plus people and he has shown his interest in helping out AIFF in any capacity he can.
“My commitment and contribution to Indian football will not diminish and I am ready to help the AIFF in whatever way they want me”