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PTI / The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 24, 2011.
Former India captain Baichung Bhutia during a practice session, at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. File photo - PTI.
The 'Sikkimese Sniper' had 16 years of international football. He was plagued by injuries the past year and has now decided to continue to play only for his club United Sikkim FC which he founded
Former captain and the face of Indian football for major part of the last two decades, star striker Bhaichung Bhutia today announced his international retirement, drawing curtains on an illustrious 16-year career.
The 34-year-old, known as the ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ for his shooting skills, announced his decision during a press meet at the All India Football Federation headquarters here.
“I had fantastic 16 years of international football. I enjoyed every moment to have represented the country, to have contributed to the game,” Bhaichung said.
Speculation had been rife on the imminent retirement of the talismanic striker, who pulled out of India Under-23 side’s tour of England where they will play against Pakistan and England Under-23 next month.
He was struggling with injuries in the past one year and could play for just 15 minutes in the Asian Cup in Qatar in January, the most prestigious event India has ever taken part in the last 27 years.