Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has called it quits from the Super Eagles after leading his Country to third position at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Shanghai Shenua hitman announced on Saturday his retirement from international football after winning the Golden Boot at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ighalo scored 5 goals making him the golden boot winner ahead of Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane who were on three goals. He scored the only goal as Nigeria defeated Tunisia to finish third in Egypt.
“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,” Ighalo said in a statement.
“It’s been an eventful and most memorable opportunity to serve my country with pride, passion and contribute my quota to the development of our football.
“It’s now time to concentrate on club football and give the younger players a chance to learn and grow.”
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”.
Ighalo helped Nigeria qualify for Egypt with a 7 goal haul making him the top scorer in the 2019 Afcon Qualifiers.
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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 ✍🏽🦅🇳🇬🙏🏾