Mikel and Ighalo Announce Retirement from International Football

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Following a third place finish at the African Cup of Nations, Nigerian captain John Mikel Obi and leading goalscorer at the tournament, Odion Ighalo have announced their retirement from the national team effective immediately.

The duo who have served as key veterans in the Nigerian locker room in the past few years decided it was time to bring their careers to an end ushering in a younger generation and thanking fans for all the support provided during their time representing the country.

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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 am out!

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At 32 and 13 years deep representing Nigeria, Mikel’s decision does not come as much of a surprise, however, Ighalo who only earned his first national team cap in 2015 was expected to continue to lead the country’s front line for a while.

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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 ✍🏽🦅🇳🇬🙏🏾

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