India and Kerala Blasters centre-back Anas Edathodika announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday following India's exit from the AFC Asian Cup.
"It’s been a very hard decision to take and accept. I think it’s the time to step down and give opportunities to youngsters who can perform better," he said in a social media post.
The 31-year-old defender played a part in all the qualifiers as India returned to the continental showpiece for the first time since 2011 but ends his career on a low — a hamstring injury in the opening minutes of the crucial clash against Bahrain forcing him off the field.
Anas, who was handed his debut by Stephen Constantine in a 3-2 win against Cambodia in March 2017, won 18 caps in total. Though he entered the national setup late, he formed a strong center-back partnership with club-teammate Sandesh Jhingan for the Blue Tigers.
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