The India international speaks about his centre-back partner, a tough last season and upcoming AFC Asian Cup.

Anas Edathodika is someone known for his commitment and fearless attitude on the field. Since his National Team debut for India, Anas has been playing a stellar role for the Team in defence winning many accolades and fans.

When reminded, he smiled and narrated that he is a big fan of his colleague Sandesh Jhingan. “I have been a fan of Sandesh Jhingan since long. Although he’s very young and made his National Team debut three years back, I have always admired him. There was always the desire of playing alongside him,” Anas stated during a media interaction in Mumbai on the sidelines of the ongoing National Team camp.

Anas went on to label himself as a hard-working player. “I am not a player of great quality. So I knew to toil hard. I used to play but didn’t get the basic knowledge of the game during my childhood. By God’s grace, I got myself at the right place at the right moment and finally, I made my debut for the National Team,” he stated.

“I take immense pride to say that my best achievement has been to make into the National Team. The day I made my National team debut against Cambodia was the happiest day in my life,” he recollected.

“I haven’t won many a laurel in my career. But once I hang my boots, everyone will remember me as a former International player,” he became emotional.

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Although the last season was plagued with copious personal problems, Edathodika didn’t shy away from commanding his duties on the field for his club as well as the National Team. 

“The last season was an agonising one for me indeed. I had to struggle hard against those personal obstacles. After my dad’s demise, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I got almost no time to cope-up with those issues. But, everyone helped me to get over from the situation,” his eyes turned moist.

Meanwhile, he lavished huge praise for the Kerala-based clubs for leading the revival of Kerala’s football.

“Kerala have very good players. But we need to move go forward. Gokulam Kerala FC, Kerala Blasters FC are doing a great job. But, more academies are required to nurture the youngsters. They have to streamline the process. More youngsters are rearing to jump in the pool and they’ll only strengthen the pipeline to the Indian National Team.”

On being asked about India’s opponents in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 group, Edathodika quipped: “It’s surely a tough group and we have to give our everything to overcome them. As the coach suggested we’ll play a few more friendly matches before we land in the UAE to get in the right shape at the right moment. We trust it’ll be a tough job for us but we are ready to deal with it.”