Anas Edathodika announces his retirement from international football
Defender Anas Edathodika, on Tuesday, announced his retirement from the Indian national team. The shock decision comes right on the back of India's heartbreaking exit from the AFC Asian Cup 2019 after a 1-0 loss to Bahrain. To recall, Stephen Constantine, too, decided to step down from his role as the head coach of the Blue Tigers after the match concluded.
The 31-year-old took to social media to announce his decision and followed it up with a few heart-warming messages for his national team colleagues.
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. pic.twitter.com/D3ZohMLuZz— Anas Edathodika (@anasedathodika) January 15, 2019
My heart will forever embrace the feeling of walking through the tunnel and out onto the field donning the national jersey with my brothers. @SandeshJhingan, we had a good partnership in guarding the central defence, it was an emotion playing with you, Brother.— Anas Edathodika (@anasedathodika) January 15, 2019
@jejefanai, 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, ♥️.— Anas Edathodika (@anasedathodika) January 15, 2019
Anas also wrote, "I would 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. 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 per cent for the team. 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."
The defender started the match against Bahrain on Monday but had to go off with an injury within five minutes. The Kerala Blasters FC player mentioned the defining moment before thanking former coach Constantine for his faith in him. "I was so disappointed to pick up an injury in the opening minutes and it will hurt me forever. 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," he wrote.
Anas made his debut for the Blue Tigers back in 2017 and earned 19 caps for the team, striking up a solid partnership with Sandesh Jhingan at centre back.