Kolkata, Jan 24 (PTI) Laid low by injuries in recentmonths, India captain Bhaichung Bhutia today quashed talk ofany imminent retirement and said he would return next seasonafter taking a three-month break and if he decides to quit, hewould do it from East Bengal.
Talking to reporters at East Bengal club, the Sikkimesesniper said he came to be known as a footballer from EastBengal, so he would like to call it quits donning thered-and-gold jersey.
"I''m born in Sikkim, but I started my football life herein East Bengal. I got to be known as a footballer from EastBengal. It''s my mother club. East Bengal gave me a footballinglife. That''s the reality and that is never going to change.
"I''ve got all my trophies for East Bengal be it DurandCup, Federation Cup or whatever. I''m so proud and honoured tobe a part of them," he said in an emotional tone.
"It''s true I played for different clubs, but those werea few challenges that I took. I will definitely retire fromEast Bengal, even as I have my own club United Sikim. Istarted from here and I want to end here," the 34-year-oldsaid.
"The only regret I will have that I''ve officially neverled the club. May be my son when he grows up will don thecaptain''s band," he said in a lighter vein.
Asked about his recent comment that he was eyeing theAsian Cup (in Australia in 2015), Bhutia said the comment wasmade in jest.
"Maybe I will play on crutches then... It''s a long way togo. Yes, I may play if there''s an Asian Cup held for thedisabled... I had said that on a lighter note. Realistically,I don''t see it happening," Bhutia said.
Giving an update on his injury and health, he said: "I''mtaking a complete rest for two months. Definitely, I''m notplaying for any clubs. It does not make sense. I will lookinto it the next season."
"I consulted the Australian team doctor and other localdoctors in Doha. Every two days blood clots are drained frommy calf and I took painkillers."
Bhutia, who was out of action since September with a calfmuscle problem, made a comeback as an 80th-minute substitutein India''s 1-4 loss to South Korea in the group C Asian Cupmatch.
The Indian captain also lashed out at his critics andsaid it was out of jealousy some former footballers made wrongallegations against him and the team.
"I don''t want to say whether somebody is good or bad.
There are a lot of ex-footballers who are helping for thecause of the game. I can''t club all the ex-footballerstogether just because there are two or three who are pointingfingers at me. That''s their viewpoint. Maybe expressed out ofjealousy," Bhutia said.