Football: Former Lions captain Baihakki Khaizan retires from national team

Football: Former Lions captain Baihakki Khaizan retires from national team

Baihakki on football pitch
Baihakki Khaizan announced that he will be retiring from Singapore's national football team. (Photo: Facebook/Baihakki Khaizan)

SINGAPORE: Baihakki Khaizan has retired from Singapore's national football team after 134 matches over 16 years, he announced on Thursday (Mar 7).

"Thank you all the fans for your support ... I hope I have given my best during my 12,240 minutes outing.

"I'll be joining you soon in the stands doing the Kallang roar together as one Singapore," former captain Baihakki said on Facebook.

Reminiscing about the first time he played for the Lions, he said: "4th August 2003 was the day I first donned the national colours and deep inside I couldn't explain how proud I was getting my first international cap against Hong Kong."

He thanked former coaches Radojko Avramovic, who was "a father figure to many of us", and Bernd Stange, for introducing European passing-style football to the team.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Friday posted a video of the veteran defender scoring a goal at the 2012 AFF Championship final, helping Singapore to become champions that year.

To his former teammates, he said: "I've enjoyed every single moment we had together."

Baihakki also thanked his family, in particular his mother, his wife and his children, for their support.

"We can plan our holidays properly from next year onwards."

Baihakki and children
Baihakki and his children donning football jerseys. (Photo: Facebook/Baihakki Khaizan) 

Source: CNA/jt