Ighalo set to retire from Super Eagles duty on AFCON high
Odion Ighalo has reportedly retired from international football with Nigeria after their third-place Africa Cup of Nations finish.
The 30-year-old former Watford striker, who currently plies his trade with Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, has made 35 appearances for the Super Eagles since making his debut against Uganda in March 2015.
Ighalo has scored 16 goals for his country and is on course to win the golden boot at AFCON, with his winning effort against Tunisia in Wednesday’s 1-0 third-place play-off victory taking him on to five for the tournament in Egypt.
However, following speculation that he will retire from international football, a source close to the Nigeria camp told All Africa: ‘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.
‘After the game, he gave his jersey as a souvenir to the coach, said his goodbyes and left.
‘ The news follows on from captain John Obi Mikel’s decision to retire from international football with Nigeria on Thursday.
The 32-year-old, who made his debut at AFCON in the 2006 tournament also hosted by Egypt, wrote on his Instagram page: ‘Egypt is a country where I 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 the national team with Super Eagles.
‘ He added: ‘At the age of 32, it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, we’ve done an amazing job by securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.’