Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has formally announced his retirement from international football.
Mikel made the decision after the Super Eagles 1-0 win against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the Third-Place Match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
”I’m out,” Mikel declared tartly during interaction with reporters at the Super Eagles’ Cairo Meridien Hotel abode.
Mikel later took to the social media to announce the decision to the whole world.
”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 posted on his Instagram page.
”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. Mikel am out!”
The 32-year-old did not play in any of Super Eagles qualifying games for the AFCON 2019 but made himself available for the competition.
Mikel however featured in only two games for the Super Eagles in the competition as he was hampered by a knee injury.
Interestingly, Mikel made his AFCON debut for the Super Eagles at the 2006 edition hosted by Egypt.
The Super Eagles also picked bronze medal at the competition edging out the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia 1-0 in the Third-Place match.
Overall, the talented midfielder featured in five AFCON tournaments for the Super Eagles winning the competition with the side in South Africa 2013 edition.
The former Lyn Oslo of Norway star who made his international debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly encounter against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya on August 17, 2005, represented Nigeria 88 times and scored six goals.
Mikel is expected to continue his career at club level with his new Turkish Super League team Trabzonspor.