Mehtab Hossain will play his last game in top-flight football on Thursday as the striker has decided to retire from the game after his club Mohun Bagan's last home game of the season, against Indian Arrows.
Mehtab had announced at the start of the season that he would retire at the end of the Calcutta Football League 2018 but the midfielder continued for one more season after Bagan offered him a contract until the end of the I-League 2018-19 season. He finally decided to call it quits on Thursday.
Although Mohun Bagan have 3 games left, Mehtab wanted to retire in front of the home crowd and sign out on a high.
"I am trembling in so many emotional memories before playing my last competitive game of my prolonged career," Mehtab announced on his Facebook page.
"I am taking this opportunity to thank all my respected coaches, all the clubs I have played for, the officials, the support staff, the team mates, my friends, media, my parents, my wife, my in-laws, my kids and of course the end number of fans who have loved and showered with their affection to become a part of my extended family.
"I am thankful to Mohun Bagan for giving me the opportunity to hang my boots from this illustrious club. And yes, thank you Quess East Bengal FC for ten priceless years of career to transform the player I achieved to become."
Mehtab has never won the I-League and had hoped to accomplish that this season. However, Mohun Bagan are in the sixth spot with 26 points from 18 matches and are not alive in the title race anymore, trailing leaders Chennai City FC by 14 points.
Mehtab started his career with Tollygunge Agragami in 2001 and went onto play for ONGC. He spent 3 seasons with Kerala Blasters and reached the final of the Indian Super League (ISL) twice. In the 2017-18 season, he turned up for Jamshedpur FC and made 12 appearances for the ISL side.
Mehtab mostly spent this season on the bench for Mohun Bagan. However, coach Khalid Jamil will play him for sure against Indian Arrows to make it a farewell game for the former India international, who has 31 caps and 2 goals for the national team. Mehtab retired from internationals in 2015 after being left out of India's squad for the World Cup qualifiers by former coach Stephen Constantine.