Ivory Coast legend calls it quits

African Football

Ivory Coast legend, Serey Die, who once broke down into tears out of 'excitement' of representing his country has officially retired from international football.

Die, 34, has called time on his international career after six years of outstanding commitment in which he was often lauded as the heartbeat of the Elephants squad.

Since making his debut in 2013 as a 28-year-old, Die amassed 50 caps and represented his nation at four major tournaments, with his 2014 World Cup debut being one of the particular highlights.

Before their fixture against Colombia in th Group stages, Die was pictured in tears, and news went viral that his father had passed away two hours prior to the matchup.

However, he later revealed on social media that it was just down to excitement as his late blooming career brought him joy he never thought was possible.

"I just want to say that it’s wrong what they all say, that I was moved because of my dad, but he died in 2004 and it was just the excitement of being in a World Cup and serving my country, Ivory Coast," he wrote on social media.
"I never thought one day I would be at this level of competition."
Passion personified
That moment perfectly encapsulated what Die brought to a squad often littered with superstar names from Europe's biggest clubs.
The first name on the teamsheet, the diminutive midfielder allowed the likes of Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Salomon Kalou and at one point Didier Drogba - the license to attack freely.
And now as he continues his career in Europe with Swiss side FC Aarau, he reflected on his journey with the West African giants.
"I thank my predecessors who welcomed me by showing me the way to go, not to mention my younger brothers with whom I have continued the mission," Die said, as per BBC Football.
"Thank you for the respect you have always given me, but the time has come for me to leave you. God bless you and accompany you, I believe in you and I know that Ivory Coast will cheer you at each of your matches.
"To all lovers of football and especially those of my beloved homeland, I thank you for your support during this story and thank you for believing in me.
"I pray that God bless you all. And a big thank you to the federation (FIF) and especially president Sidy Diallo."