Football

Odion Ighalo joins Mikel Obi, quits international football

Odion Jude Ighalo of Nigeria celebrates goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, 3rd and 4th place match between Tunisia and Nigeria at Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 17 July 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu-BackpagePix

Odion Ighalo has reportedly joined John Mikel Obi in retiring from international football.

Mikel announced his decision to stop playing for the Super Eagles via a message on instagram on Thursday afternoon, and Ighalo has followed in the former skipper’s footsteps in a move that will shock handler of the side, Gernot Rohr.

Ighalo who plays for Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua, newsmen learnt has reportedly informed Rohr of his decision, and the coach has accepted it in good faith.

The 30-year-old has always been a subject of intense criticism from Nigeria fans despite his impressive goal rate for the Super Eagles.

Ighalo received several abuse after the Super Eagles’ elimination from the 2018 FIFA Word Cup in Russia, was persuaded by Rohr to keep playing for the Super Eagles.

He finished as top scorer in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series with seven goals.

The former Watford striker is in the race to scoop the top scorer award of AFCON 2019 after scoring five goals in seven appearances for Nigeria.

Senegal’s Saido Mane and Adams Ounas, his two closest challengers have scored three goals each.

Ighalo scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for the Super Eagles.

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