One legendary player in Philippine football has called time on his illustrious career on the pitch.
James Younghusband, a member of the fabled 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup lineups, announced his farewell to the sport on his Instagram account, Thursday morning.
The 33-year-old imparted a short message to everyone who has supported him throughout his career.
“Time to say goodbye.
“Thank you for the amazing memories. I have loved playing this game. Thank you to my family, bosses, managers, coaches, teammates, opponents and all my supporters who have been part of my professional career,” said the Filipino-English midfielder.
Younghusband and his brother, Phil, began their careers in Philippine football back in the 2005 SEA Games, which was hosted in the country. He played in six AFF campaigns from 2007 to 2018, of which four yielded semi-final finishes. He also participated in the 2012 and 2014 Challenge Cup tourneys where he won bronze and silver medals respectively with the team.
In 101 appearances for the Philippines, he scored 12 goals — the most recent of which came against Vietnam in a 1-2 away defeat in Hanoi. His final team in his professional career was Ceres-Negros, with whom he finally made appearances in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.
“I feel lucky to have experienced wonderful memories and thankful for every moment of my time with my clubs and country,” added the 6-foot-1 player, who tagged his former teams Loyola Meralco Sparks, Davao Aguilas, Ceres-Negros, Chelsea, Philippines Azkals, as well as the Philippine Football Federation in his social media post.
Ultimately, Younghusband will be remembered as one of the icons who revitalized Philippine football from its sickly state.
He leaves the sport in better shape than when he first arrived, and for that alone his exploits will never be forgotten.