Former India international and Mohun Bagan midfielder Mehtab Hossain has finally decided to retire from professional football. The player confirmed the news on the eve of Mohun Bagan's final home match of I-League 2018-19 season against Indian Arrows.
Ahead of the match, the veteran midfielder said, "I started my journey in 1998 with Kalighat Sports Club. Tomorrow (Thursday) will be the last match of my career. It has been a long journey starting from Kalighat, then FCI, Tollygunge Agragami and Mohun Bagan in 2003. That was the first time I played for a big club. Maybe tomorrow will be the last professional match of my career. I want to quit after playing tomorrow’s game as it is a home game.
"I wanted to play my last match in Kolkata. I had informed after Calcutta Football League (CFL) that I will retire but continued due to some reasons. This is the correct time to quit. I want to thank all my coaches and especially to Khalid Jamil and Sankarlal Chakraborty who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play at the twilight of my career. My only regret is not winning the I-League. Maybe I was not destined to win it."
Mehtab has had an illustrious career where he played for multiple top tier clubs. After spending three seasons at Mohun Bagan and then a season at ONGC, Hossain moved to East Bengal in 2007 and spent 10 seasons with the Red and Golds.
In between, he had plied his trade with Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters. He had reached the final of ISL twice with Kerala but failed to win it. He then moved to Jamshedpur FC in the 2017-18 season before returning to Mohun Bagan in his final year.
He has won every major accolade in Indian football except the I-League and the ISL.