Kerala Blasters centre-back Anas Edathodika has retired from the Indian national team. The 31-year-old defender took to social media to announce his decision.
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 right decision. Much love, Anas Edathodika.
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.
Injuries have continued to plague the defender's career. In his last appearance for India. the Kerala Blasters defender picked up an injury and had to be replaced early in the game.