Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has announced his retirement from international football.
The 30-year-old Shanghai Shenhua striker who was highly instrumental in Nigeria’s 3rd place win at the just concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt where he also won highest goal scorer with 5 goals, took to his Instagram page over the weekend to make the annoucement.
In his statement he said, “It’s been an amazing 5 years journey, but after the due consultation and extensive discussion with my family, I have decided it’s time for me to retire from the national team…..“
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This is one of the most difficult career decisions I have had to take. It’s been an amazing 5 years journey,but after due consultation and extensive discussion with my family I have decided it’s time for me to retire from the National team. It’s has been an eventful and most memorable opportunity to serve my country with pride,passion and to contribute my quota to the development of our football,the memories would stay with me for a long time and I’m immensely grateful. It is now time to concentrate on Club football and give the younger players chance to learn and grow. I would love to thank the NFF,coach Gernot Rohr for believing in me against all odds,to my teammates for their professionalism and team spirit without you guys I wouldn’t have achieved so much with this team. To NIGERIAN football fans all over the world,I SAY THANK YOU, you were always there to cheer us on and our 12th players every time we step into the pitch. I will be watching and cheering the SUPER EAGLES from this side. THANK YOU…..signing OUT ✍??????
Ighalo almost quit Nigeria duty after last year’s World Cup following sharp criticism and even death threats, but was encouraged to stay on by Gernot Rohr, who Ighalo says stood by him “against all odds”.
He repaid in full Rohr’s faith in him, finishing top scorer in qualifying for the tournament before his impressive showing in Egypt, which featured a standout display as Nigeria knocked out defending champions Cameroon in the last 16.
He is the second Super Eagles to retire after the just concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) as John Mikel Obi announced his retirement early last week.