KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Anil Gurung, one of the most popular and decorated strikers of Nepali football, retired from national team on Tuesday. He played his last match against the Philippines in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers at Satdobato football ground yesterday.
Born in 17 September 1986, Gurung earned 50 caps from the national team during his decade long football career. He has 10 international career goals to his name.
Gurung made his international debut appearing in a world cup qualifier match against Oman which Nepal lost 2-0 on 8 October 2007 at Muscat. Anil also became the first Nepalese player to score goal in home ground in world-cup qualifying match.
His adieu was a bit emotional. After the last whistle, he bowed for a couple of minutes, kissed the ground all eyes in tears and bid farewell. “I am having a hard time bidding farewell to my supporters, the ground and number ten jersey.”
In the recent months, he spent most of the time on bench and missed matches due to injury.
Anil Gurung was born to late Mr Bil Bahadur Gurung and Mrs. Laxmi Kumari Gurung who is an inhabitant of Malepatan, Pokhara. He completed his school education from Barahi Secondary School. He started playing football from the age of thirteen. He started his career from Sahara club, Pokhara in 2001.
Anil Gurung also played for Brigade Club, Three Star Club, New Road Team (NRT). He currently plays for Manang Marshyangdi Club.
In 2009 edition of Martyrs Memorial A Division Football League, Anil proved himself in Nepali football by scoring 32 goals and becoming the highest scorer. He won several trophy and prized in his domestic career. He won a cash prize of Rupees fifty thousand in one of the matches of the 10th edition of SAFF games for having an outstanding performance. In the 10th Buddha Subba Gold Cup, he was the highest scorer and was duly selected as the best player of the tournament. He was also chosen as best player during a match in the 2064 BS edition of Governor Gold Cup. He was selected as the best player in the yearly match organized by the Nepal Khel Khud Patrakar Manch. Likewise, in the yearly match held in Kaski district, he received a cash prize of Rs. 30,000.
Anil Gurung made headlines when he was selected for a trial for Chelsea reserve team and Woking FC in England. Sahara Club, Nepal and Sahara Football Club, UK jointly initiated the trial-selection process. Gurung went through a four-month-long trial in England, where he put his footballing skills to the test. Though he could not impress the Chelsea coaches, he subsequently made another headline signing a three-year contract with Shillong Lajong Football Club, an Indian I-League Club for an amount of NRS 6.3 million on October 30, 2009, which made him the highest paid Nepali footballer.
But, after the relegation of Lajong FC, Anil terminated the contract with the Indian Club and joined Manang Marsyangdi Club. Gurung said, he will continue to play domestics football.