It’s time to move on, says Bhaichung
New Delhi: Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia Monday said he was honoured to get a farewell with a friendly against European giants Bayern Munich -- slated for Tuesday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Bhutia, who came out of retirement in 2006 to lead the national team to three international titles till hanging up his international boots last August, said this time it was final and he wants to contribute at grass roots with the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School (BBFS) and club United Sikkim, which plies its trade in second division I-league.
Frustrated with injuries Bhutia retired from international football last year in August, seven months after India`s disastrous Asian Cup campaign.
"Very happy to retire this time. If needed I shall always be there for the team but this time I don`t see reason why the team needs me. But I will keep contributing to Indian football in my own way, with BBFS and United Sikkim," said Bhutia.
Though India made a first round exit from the Asian Cup after conceding 13 goals, qualifying for the elite tournament in the continent remains Bhutia`s most memorable moment in his illustrious career that spanned 18 years.
"To qualify for the Asian Cup after winning the AFC Challenge Cup remains the most memorable part of my career," he said.
India coach Savio Medeira also said that the farewell match will be once in a lifetime opportunity for his boys.
"We had just two days to prepare for the match. Obviously it is not enough but it will be a privilege for me and the boys to play against such a great team. It is once in a lifetime opportunity for all," he said.
Medeira knows that his team could end up with an embarrassing result but asked his boys to be brave.
"Everybody knows about the difference in class between German and Indian football. But more help from Germany will surely help Indian football," he said.