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Why I retired Super Eagles – Odion Ighalo

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Nigeria’s forward Odion Ighalo celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 6, 2019. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)


Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo has announced his retirement from international football to focus on his club career.

Ighalo, a former Watford player, said his retirement from national football “is one of the most difficult career decisions”

The 30-year-old striker said he made the decision so as “to concentrate on club football and give the younger players the chance to learn and grow.”

“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.

Ighalo, who won the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Golden Boot, started his career as a youth player in the U-20 team and later made his senior debut during an international friendly match against Uganda in March 2015.

He played his first competition with the senior team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He came under huge criticisms when Nigeria were eliminated from the Russia 2018 World Cup after missing a glaring chance against Argentina which could have given the Super Eagles’ victory.

But the former Watford forward bounced back to become the highest goal scorer for the 2019 AFCON tournament qualifiers and emerged tournament top scorer, notching up five goals.

Ighalo made 35 appearances for the Super Eagles and scored 16 goals.


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