The atmosphere was electrifying in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday during the farewell match of Baichung Bhutia.
An era in the Indian football came to an end when Baichung was replaced by CS Sabeeth in the 84th minute of the match.
German giants Bayern Munich thrashed Indian national team 4-0 in the match but Bhutia bowed out with his held head high, knowing he has given his all for his country since making his debut in the 1995 Nehru Cup.
Bhutia said his testimonial match would remain as one of the most memorable events of his career when he played against the Bayern Munich in front of 30000 fans.
"It\\\’s an honour to play Bayern. They have such great history and are one of the team\\\’s, that can win the Champions League this year.
I would also like to thank the AIFF and everyone in the media as well for making this game memorable, he added.
Sixteen years has been a long journey and thanks to (coach) Savio also, we have worked together in the national team for many years. He recently won the SAFF Cup and I hope he takes the national team to greater heights in the near future. Hopefully we will see more good results from the national team," said Bhutia.
Bayern, who are on their third trip to India, have come with their best team, and the grand farewell for Bhutia was something unheard of in past in Indian sports. Bhutia was also honoured with an Audi Q8.
Emotions ran high among fans, when Bhutia, who retired last August after being frustrated with a spate of injuries, posed for the photographers with the other players.
Fans went wild every time Bhutia touched the ball. Though it was a one-way traffic but for Indian fans it was surely a double delight.
The entire stadium roared for Baichung Bhutia when he walked off the field for the last time.