Anas Edathodika retires from international football

Anas Edathodika bowed out following India's group-stage exit from the Asian Cup.

Anas Edathodika earned himself 18 international caps.   -  Twitter @anasedathodika

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.

View this post on Instagram

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. 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. I just want to say a huge thanks to the coach @stephenconstantine 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. @sandesh21jhingan, we had a good partnership in guarding the central defence, it was an emotion playing with you, Brother. @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, ♥. I’m not giving up, my loves. I think this is right time to take the right decision. Much love, Anas Edathodika.

A post shared by Anas Edathodika (@anasedathodika15) on

 

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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