East Bengal has roped in former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia for the remainder of the 2014-15 seaosn. The deal was signed at the club tent on Thursday morning.
The 38-year old had formerly talked about his plans to don the Red and Gold jersey for one last time before he chooses to retire. However, whether Bhutia would be a part of the club's I-League campaign hasn't yet been decided upon.
"It has not been decided whether he will be registered for the I-League," a top official from the club told Goal.
Bhaichung’s claim to fame at the national level started from his stint with the Red and Gold back in 1993. He has played for the Kolkata giants for 10 seasons in the past having famously won the ASEAN Cup in 2003.
“I wanted to retire in an East Bengal jersey but it could not happen as I suffered a knee injury. But this season, I want to retire playing for East Bengal. My knee is still not in the best shape after the surgery but I want to fight,” said Bhutia who became the first Indian player to have earned a professional contract in Europe post-independence.
Bhaichung's last I-League appearance came way back on 18th December 2012, when he played the last five minutes in United Sikkim's 2-2 draw against Pune FC.
He had also finished as the highest scorer of the first National Football League (NFL) having scored 14 goals in JCT's winning campaign.