Sujal Shrestha quits international football

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Mar. 24: Former skipper of the Nepali national football team Sujal Shrestha announced his retirement from international football on Thursday.

Before leaving for Sydney, Australia, Shrestha announced his retirement through his official social media account Facebook.

“I am pleased to represent Nepal at international football. I have many happiest moments. There are some bad experiences too in my 11-year-long football journey. With all those memories, I decided to retire from the national team.

I am honoured to don the national colours for such a long period. I completed my duty and gave my best performance during my career,” Shrestha wrote in his post.

“Now is a turn for the new generations. They are really talented and skilful. I am confident that the newcomers will make us proud in the coming days, through the beautiful football. I think this is the right time to quit international football,” he further wrote in his post.

After playing five matches in the Martyr’s Memorial A Division League, Captain Shrestha is leaving his club Machhindra FC. After sustaining an injury in the fifth match of the league, he was benched in the first match against Laos during the Prime Minister Three Nations Cup on Wednesday. He led Machhindra twice to the first-division title. He also had lifted the trophy of top tier league twice with Manang Marsyangdi Club.

Shrestha will be playing with Beni FC in Australia. Defender Shrestha travelled to Sydney along with another national player and his clubmate Ranjit Dhimal on Friday morning at 12:30 AM.

Product of ANFA Academy, Shrestha donned a national jersey for the first time against Bhutan in a friendly match held in Pokhara on March 19, 2011.

He played his career’s last international match against Pakistan at Dasharath Stadium, Kathmandu during the friendly match on November 16, 2022. Shrestha captained the national team against Myanmar in a friendly match held in 2019. Nepal won the gold medal at the 13th South Asian Games under his captaincy in 2018.

The goal from Shrestha also helped Nepal win the AFC Solidarity Cup held in Malaysia in 2016. His solitary goal helped Nepal beat Macau in the final of the Solidarity Cup.

He won 45 caps for Nepal. He scored three goals for the national side. He scored against Timor Leste during the World Cup Qualifiers in 2011, Macau during the Solidarity Cup held in Malaysia in 2016 and Mauritius during the friendly match in 2016.

In his 11-year-long football journey, Shrestha spent nine years with domestic football powerhouse Manang.

Shrestha was born in Dhankuta and played for different age group teams including U-12 and U-14. He was selected for the ANFA Academy in 2060.

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