Star Nigeria duo announce retirement


Two Nigeria stars, who boast more than 100 caps between them, have confirmed their retirement from international football after the Super Eagles secured third place at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Gernot Rohr's side clinched bronze at the spectacle after Nigeria ran out 1-0 victors over Tunisia on Wednesday night, courtesy of current Afcon 2019 top goalscorer Odion Ighalo's lone strike at the Al Salam Stadium.

After the clash, Super Eagles captain and former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel took to social media to announce his decision to retire from international football.

"At the age of 32, it's time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, (sic) who've done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at Afcon 2019," he wrote on Instagram.

"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.

"The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations marks my last championship for the national team with Super Eagles.

"My national career started in 2003, U17 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.

"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."

Mikel made 89 appearances for Nigeria, finding the back of the net on six occasions.

Ighalo, who currently sits at the summit of Afcon 2019's top goalscorers chart with four strikes, is also believed to have hung up his international boots.

While the player is yet to make a public announcement thereon, Rohr confirmed the former Watford talisman's decision, and revealed that the door is always open for his return.

"He has been very strong for us. And it is sad that he wants not to continue," the Super Eagles coach said, as per ESPN.

"But the door always is open for him, any time."

Ighalo made 35 appearances for Nigeria, and scored an impressive 16 goals for the team.