Forward Odion Ighalo has quit national team duties, few hours after emerging as the highest goals scorer of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The player became the second influential player to leave the national after Captain John Mikel Obi also called it quit after the Country‘s third place win over Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on Wednesday.
The Shanghai Shenhua star made his senior debut during an international friendly match against Uganda in March 2015, went onplay in one World Cup and African Cup of Nation in Russia and Egypt respectively.
After 35 matches and 16 goals, the 30-year-old took the decision to bow out for younger ones to ‘learn and grow’.
“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,” Ighalo wrote on Instagram.
“It 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 player every time we step onto the pitch. I will be watching and cheering the Super Eagles from this side. Thank you… Signing out.”
Ighalo won the golden boot at just concluded African Cup of Nations in Egypt and ranked seventh on the list of top scorers for the Super Eagles.
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