Indian Footballer Baichung Bhutia announced Retirement

  • Veteran Indian footballer Baichung Bhutia announced his retirement from international soccer on 24 August 2011. He however will continue to play for his club that he is currently associated with, Sikkim United. The decision to retire was prompted by constant injuries in the past year. He was picked for the upcoming tour of England. However calf-muscle injury caused him to retire.

    Baichung Bhutia made his debut as a substitute in the 1995 Nehru Cup in Calcutta. In his career spread over 16 years he scored 42 goals in 107 international appearances. Nicknamed the Sikkimese Sniper, he is currently contracted by the club he owns, United Sikkim. He has thrice in the past been named Indian Player of the Year.
    Bhutia had four spells at I-League football team East Bengal Club, the club where he started his career. When he signed up to play for the English club Bury F.C. in 1999 he became the first Indian footballer to play professional football in Europe. He played for JCT Mills, which won the league once during his tenure as well as Mohun Bagan, which failed to win the league once during his two spells, in his native India.

    His international footballing honours include winning the Nehru Cup, LG Cup, South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship (three times) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup. He is also India's most capped player, and in the 2009 Nehru Cup he received his 100th international cap.

    He has a stadium named after him- Baichung Stadium in Namchi, the district headquarters of South Sikkim district in the state of Sikkim, India.

    He was honoured with the Arjuna award in 1995 and Padma Shri in 2008.