Mikel, Ighalo retire from international football

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John Obi Mikel announces int’l retirement after 88 caps for Nigeria.

Chelsea icon John Obi Mikel has taken to social media to confirm that he has decided to retire from international football at the age of 32.

In the same vein, Odion Ighalo has followed John Mikel on Thursday to announce retirement from international football.

The Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo announced his retirement from the National Team, shortly after Captain John Mikel Obi made his retirement official earlier today, according to Brila FM reports.

The central midfielder debuted for the Super Eagles in 2005 after starring for the U17 and U20 sides, and featured in two World Cups 2014 and 2018, and five Africa Cup of Nations most recently in Egypt.

Mikel was an influential member of the Super Eagles squad that won the 2013 AFCON and also won bronze with the Dream Team VI at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Explaining his decision to retire, the former Chelsea star says he wants to give a chance to up-and-coming players.

Ighalo, a strong contender for the Golden Boot award at the ongoing 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with five goals, leads the goal standings ahead of Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Adam Ounas (Algeria) who have both scored three goals in the tournament so far.

The 30-year-old scored the winner against the Carthage Eagles in the third-place match but limped off in the 44th minute following a knee injury.

He made his Super Eagles debut under the tutelage of Daniel Amokachi in 2015 and later played his first competition with the senior team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He came under huge criticisms when Nigeria were eliminated from the 2018 World Cup after missing a glaring chance against Argentina which could have given the Super Eagles a 2-1 lead.

But the former Watford forward bounced back to become the highest goal scorer for the 2019 AFCON tournament qualifiers, notching up seven goals in the process.

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