Former Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has explained reasons for quitting the national team, insisting he wanted to concentrate on club football.
Ighalo called time on his international career after helping Nigeria to a third-place finish at the last AFCON in Egypt.
The 31-year-old who emerged the tournament’s top scorer with five goals admitted it was difficult to announce his retirement, but added he had to take the decision considering his health.
“I needed to stop because it is too long from China to Nigeria for national team duties, I am not getting young again and we have a lot of young exciting players coming up, Victor Osimhen doing so well, Iwobi and Chukwueze are there.”
“I thought about it, this is the right time for me to leave.”
He added: “It was a difficult decision because I love playing for my country, it’s a country that gave me everything I have today so anytime I am being called upon to play for my country it is a joy to play.”
“That decision was difficult but I have to do it for my health for me to play longer in my club career, then I have to stop traveling very far.”
Ighalo made his Eagles debut in an international friendly against Uganda in March 2015 and ended his national team career with 15 goals in 34 appearances.
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