- Odion Ighalo has confirmed his decision to bow out of the Nigerian national team after five years
- The 30-year-old claimed the AFCON 2019 top scorer award with five goals
- Ighalo was also the highest goal scorer during the qualifying games for AFCON 2019 with seven goals
Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo has confirmed his decision to quit international football after claiming the golden boots at the just-concluded 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The 30-year-old Ighalo, after representing Nigeria with the Flying Eagles at the U20 World Cup, marked his Super Eagles debut in against Uganda in March 2015 during an international friendly, netted 16 goals in 35 caps for Nigeria and is presently the nation’s seventh all-time leading goalscorer.
Moments after emerging the continent’s best goal poacher, Ighalo took to the social media to confirm he is bowing out from the international scene, to give the younger ones to play their own part.
READ ALSO: Antoine Griezmann: Barcelona to face Spanish FA probe over approach on French forward
"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 penned 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 the 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.
PAY ATTENTION: Install Pitch Football App for FREE to get the latest football News & Scores
"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 is presently recuperating from an injury he cropped at AFCON 2019 as he turns his focus on club duties with Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese topflight.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Super Eagles star Odion Ighalo has finally revealed that the constant abuse from Nigerians forced him to retire from international duties early.
The 30-year-old striker followed the footsteps of his captain John Obi Mikel to quit national team football after helping the west African country win bronze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tourney in Egypt.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have updated to serve you
AFCON 2019: I almost placed a bet on Nigeria - disappointed man | Legit TV