Odion Ighalo finally gives reason for early Super Eagles retirement
Super Eagles star Odion Ighalo has finally revealed that the constant abuse from Nigerians forced him to retire from international duties early.
The 30-year-old striker followed the footsteps of his captain John Obi Mikel to quit national team football after helping the west African country win bronze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tourney in Egypt.
The publication stated that the striker, who was substituted at half time after picking up a hamstring injury left for China to rejoin his teammates. After the game, [Ighalo] gave his jersey as a souvenir to the coach, said his goodbyes and left," a source said. Following Nigeria's early ouster from FIFA World Cup in Russia last year, Ighalo was seriously abused by football fans which degenerated to his family being threatened. Many blamed him for the defeat to Argentina in their final group game over a year ago, and his failure to find the back of the net against Madagascar re-opened the wounds. "He had discussed his decision with the coach before the third-place match, saying that the constant abuse was taking a toll on his young family, but he was advised to keep it under wraps for the moment, the sources told ESPN. The striker was said to have posted on his WhatsApp status update before the game saying the Tunisian match was his "Final Game". He has been very strong for us," Rohr told ESPN. "And it is sad that he does not want to continue. But the door always is open for him any time. Ighalo made his Super Eagles debut under coach Daniel Amokachi 2015 when they lost 1-0 Uganda in a friendly. He went on to score 16 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions.