2019 AFCON: Mikel Obi Retires From International Football
Mikel and Rohr/File

Super Eagles captain and former Chelsea star Mikel Obi has retired from international football with the Nigerian team, Concise News reports.

Mikel, 32, who won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Nigeria in 2013, was rarely used as the Super Eagles finished third at the 2019 edition in Egypt.

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In a post on Instagram, Mikel, who has 89 caps for the West Africans, thanked Nigerians for their support all through the years.

“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,” Mikel said.

“2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for National Team with Super Eagles.

“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.”

He added that “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.

“Mikel out!”

Earlier on, Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr had hinted that the former Lyn Oslo man will quit the team.

Speaking after Nigeria beat Tunisia 1-0 to win the third-place clash on Wednesday, Rohr confirmed that Mikel told him he’d no longer play for the Eagles.

The coach, however,  expressed optimism that the team’s future was bright as they are a couple of young players around.

“We have to salute Mikel’s great career, he didn’t play in the qualifiers but it was good for the team that he is here,” the German added.

“Now we have to look at others, but we don’t have many midfielders in top clubs.

“We have Semi Ajayi, Iwobi, Etebo, Ndidi. But we have to work hard to find a replacement.”