Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi has retired from international football.
The former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder made the announcement on Thursday afternoon after leading the Nigerian team to a bronze medal finish at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Mikel, 32, took to his Instagram page to make the much-awaited announcement.
Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my National career. In 2006 I played my first official championship for my Country. 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for National Team with Super Eagles.
My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and I’m grateful for the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skill and have an incredible National and International career.
At the age of 32, it’s time for me to retire from the National team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.
Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my Country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years.
Mikel represented the Nigeria under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and won the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament (behind Lionel Messi) as the Africans finished runner-up to Argentina.
He made his debut for the Nigeria senior team on 17 August 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya.
At the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Mikel was a key player for Nigeria as they went on to win their third continental title. He was named by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in the team of the tournament alongside teammates Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Victor Moses, and Emmanuel Emenike.