32 year old India defender Samir Subash Naik has decided to call it quits on his international career after playing a decade for Team India, but he will continue to play for I-League champions Dempo SC on the local Indian circuit.
Samir has been thinking about retirement since the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in January 2011 in Qatar, but unlike long-time team mates Baichung Bhutia, Climax Lawrence and Mahesh Gawli he did continue to play for India until the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal in Match this year.
“After representing the country for the last 10 years, I thought the time has come I should give chance to youngsters to prove their mettle on the international stage. The thought of retirement was playing in my mind for quite sometime, but I always wanted to quit on a high,” Samir said about his decision.
“Now that my club Dempo SC has emerged champion in this edition of the I-League, I thought this is the best occasion to announce my retirement,” he added.
Samir’s biggest strength was that he could play as wing-back on both sides – right and left with the ability to push forward and feed the attacking wingers.
Samir Naik who has represented India 39 times has won the 2002 LG Cup in Vietnam, the 2007 & 2009 Nehru Cup, 2008 AFC Challenge Cup and the 2011 SAFF Cup in an India shirt. In his time as Indian international Samir Naik played under Stephen Constantine, Sukhvinder Singh, Bob Houghton, Armando Colaco and Savio Medeira.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.