Baichung Bhutia

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Baichung Bhutia

After leading the national team for more than a decade, Baichung Bhutia will wear the captain’s armband for the last time during his farewell match against German giants Bayern Munich at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on 10th January 2012.

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Baichung Bhutia
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Baichung Bhutia

Baichung Bhutia is an Indian footballer, who is currently contracted by the club he owns, United Sikkim, which he also plays for.

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Baichung Bhutia
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Baichung Bhutia

Bhutia is considered to be the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena.

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Baichung Bhutia

He is often nicknamed the Sikkimese Sniper because of his shooting skills in football.

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Baichung Bhutia

Three-time Indian Player of the Year I. M. Vijayan described Bhutia as "God's gift to Indian football".

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Baichung Bhutia

Bhutia has had four spells at I-League football team East Bengal Club, the club where he started his career.

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Baichung Bhutia

When he signed up to play for the English club Bury in 1999, he became the first Indian footballer to play professional football in Europe.

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Baichung Bhutia

Afterwards he had a short loan spell at the Malaysian football club Perak FA.

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Baichung Bhutia

As well as this he has played for JCT Mills, which won the league once during his tenure; and Mohun Bagan, which failed to win the league once during his two spells, in his native India.

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Baichung Bhutia

His international footballing honours include winning the Nehru Cup, LG Cup, SAFF Championship three times and the AFC Challenge Cup.

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Baichung Bhutia

He is also India's most capped player, and in the 2009 Nehru Cup he received his 100th international cap.

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Baichung Bhutia

Off the field, Bhutia is known for winning the reality television programme Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, which caused much controversy with his then-club Mohun Bagan, and for being the first Indian athlete to boycott the Olympic torch relay in support of the Tibetan independence movement.

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Baichung Bhutia

Bhutia, who has a football stadium named after him in honour of his contribution to Indian football (first player to have such honour while he is still playing), has also won many awards, such as the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.

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Baichung Bhutia

He married his longtime girlfriend Madhuri Tipnis, a hotel professional, on 30 December 2004 in his native village of Tinkitam in South Sikkim.

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Baichung Bhutia

In October 2010, he founded Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in Delhi in partnership with football by Carlos Queiroz and Nike.

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Baichung Bhutia

In August 2011, Bhutia announced his retirement from international football.

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