Mikel Obi has officially called it quit from international football. He made the intention known after the Super Eagles played their last match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
His last match was the 2-0 loss to Madagascar. It was his 89th match for Nigeria since his debut against Libya in a friendly match on August 17, 2005 in a friendly match.
During a 14-year reign at the senior national team level, Mikel scored six goals.
The 32-year-old midfielder initially shone in the 2005 U-20 World Cup, the thing which later on allowed him to represent the Super Eagles colours in the 2006 World Cup for seniors.
Mikel took to Instagram to announce that he is no more playing for Nigeria, giving the chance for new blood.
“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,” Mikel wrote.
“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.”
Of the 552 players registered for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations, only three were there 13 years ago, when Egypt hosted the continental premier sports competition.
Among the three is Nigeria’s returning captain, Mikel Obi who had his second international cap in Nigeria’s opening match with Zimbabwe.The two other players returning to Egypt after 13 years are Carlos Kameni of Cameroon and Tresor Mputu of DR Congo.