Anas Edathodika is all set to join the national team camp starting on June 25 in Mumbai for the Intercontinental Cup after he decided to come out of international retirement.
The Kerala Blasters centre back announced that he is going to quit international football after the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019 but "a message from Coach (Igor) Stimac" was enough to change his mind.
"Coach Stimac has shown his faith in me, and it's my turn to repay him. Coach messaged me to join the upcoming camp. Honestly, I was taken aback. Later Venky-bhai (Assistant Coach Venkatesh Shanmugam) shared all details, and I just can't wait to join the camp,” he stated.
"The respect I earned while playing for the National Team is something which has pushed me to challenge myself again,” Anas quipped. "At the moment, I’m just focussing on the camp, and not thinking about making the cut to the team at all. Whatever comes my way, I'll accept it,” he admitted. “I'm equally passionate and focused like what I was one year back. I'm ready to push myself more.”
"Every coach has a different philosophy, and see the game differently. We had some great results before, and now all the boys whom I have spoken to, have lauded coach Stimac heavily.”
The Malappuram-born centre-back earned 19 caps for the Indian national team under Stephen Constantine. He entered the national team set-up at the age of 30, debuting in a 3-2 win against Cambodia in March 2017. Despite his late entry into Constantine's national team set-up, he managed to create a formidable defensive partnership with Sandesh Jhingan and quickly became the coach's first-choice centre back.
INDIA 35-MEMBER SQUAD:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh
Defenders: Rahul Bheke, Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Anwar Ali, Sarthak Golui, Narender, Subhasish Bose
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Raynier Fernandes, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Mandar Rao Desai, Ashique Kuruniyan, Nikhil Poojary, Michael Soosairaj.
Forwards: Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Jobby Justin, Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh.