KATHMANDU, Nov 14: Anil Gurung is taking retirement from the national team duty after the clash against the Philippines on Tuesday.
National team skipper Gurung, who has already won 49 caps for Nepal, said that he now wanted to focus his career in club football with Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC).
“I wish to play for my country for few more years but I have arrived at a point where I have to take a decision,” said 31-year old MMC striker Gurung who had made debut for Nepal in October 2007.
The Sahara Academy’s product Gurung, who also played I-League with Shillong Lajong from 2009 to 2011, admitted that limited playing opportunity due to less tournaments in the country and emergence of young players are the main reasons behind the retirement.
“There are not enough tournaments in the country and no league. Players don’t get enough opportunities to play. And playing limited domestic football at this age can’t be enough to continue the national team duty,” said Gurung. “And at this moment our young players are doing well, so it makes sense for me to get retired from the national team.”
Gurung has scored nine international goals for Nepal, four less from record scorers Hari Khadka and Nirajan Rayamajhi.
Gurung was the captain of Nepali national team when it lifted AFC Solidarity Cup (Nepal’s first-ever AFC tournament) in Malaysia last year.
During his 14-year-long top flight career, Gurung has played for Brigade Boys Club, Three Star Club, New Road Team along MMC.