India's iconic footballer Bhaichung Bhutia Tuesday said that having a testimonial match against German giants Bayern Munich in front of 30,000 fans at the majestic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Tuesday will remain one of the most memorable events in his career.
"I would like to thank Audi for bringing Bayern Munich to India and making them appear in my testimonial match. I would also like to thank the (All India Football Federation) AIFF and everyone in the media as well for making this game memorable.
"It is great that one of the top European clubs like Bayern Munich played on Indian soil. I really hope they go on and win the Champions League this time," said Bhutia as the curtain came down on his 16-year-long international career at the same venue where he burst onto the national scene as a 12-year-old.
"Sixteen years has been a long journey and thanks to (coach) Savio (Medeira) also, we have worked together in the national team for many years. He recently won the SAFF Cup and I hope he takes the national team to greater heights in the near future. Hopefully we will see more good results from the national team," said Bhutia.
Medeira said the 0-4 margin would have been less if his boys had not been carried away by some big names in the Bayern team.
"The boys were a little carried away by the big names and it's true that they were not playing to their full potential as they were not communicating well. Fresh legs helped us in the second half and we performed much better," he said.
The Goan said the match will stand in good stead for the national team in the next month's AFC Challenge Cup, whose winners qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia.
"The positives that I can take is that the boys got to play against some of the big names and that will surely give them confidence for the AFC Challenge Cup. Bhaichung's commitment for the last 16 years stands out and it is one very important thing that every current footballer should learn and look to do the same," he said.