- Odion Ighalo announced his retirement from the national team about a year ago
- The 30-year-old fired Nigeria to a third-place finish at AFCON 2019 while he went home with the top scorer's award
- The Man United striker has now revealed that his health played a major role in his decision to quit when he did
Manchester United star Odion Ighalo has blamed his early retirement from the Super Eagles on his health.
The 30-year-old hanged his international boots after helping the three-time African champions win bronze medal at the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations staged in Egypt.
He also emerged as the tournament's highest goals scorer with five goals in six appearances at the continental football showpiece last summer.
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Though, his retirement was a surprise to many - with some quarters claiming he had issues with top officials.
The Red Devils star has however debunked that claim, saying the decision had nothing to do with personalities.
“I got injured in the third-place game with Tunisia, in the first half I pulled my hamstring, I have been having problems on that hamstring even before the tournament," Ighalo told Ghanaian journalist Nana Aba Anamoah via Instagram Live.
“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.
"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.
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“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."
Legit.ng earlier reported that Odion Ighalo has disclosed that he is yet to make a decision about his future at Manchester United because he is yet to be offered a permanent deal, SunSport reports citing ElegbeteTV.
The has 30-year-old made a blistering start to life at Old Trafford side since he arrived on deadline day during the January transfer window.
The former Watford of England striker has netted four goals in his first three starts for the Red Devils and many are looking forward to him sealing a permanent deal with United.
Should Ighalo be offered a permanent deal at Man United? Should he be persuaded back to the | Legit TV