Mikel Obi, a former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder made the announcement today after leading the Nigerian team to a bronze medal finish at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
He shared the news on his Instagram page. He wrote:
“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.”
Meanwhile, Sources told ESPN that Ighalo, whose goal helped Nigeria to beat Tunisia 1-0 in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Bronze Final on Wednesday night, informed coach Gernot Rohr of his decision before leaving to join his club in China immediately after the game.
“He had discussed his decision with the coach before the third-place match, saying that the constant abuse was taking a toll on his young family, but he was advised to keep it under wraps for the moment,” the sources told ESPN.
“After the game, he gave his jersey as a souvenir to the coach, said his goodbyes and left.”
Prior to the game, the 30-year-old posted a message on his WhatsApp status update that simply said “Final Game”.
“He has been very strong for us,” Rohr told ESPN.
“And it is sad that he wants not to continue.
“But the door always is open for him any time.”