Ex-Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has admitted that it was difficult quitting the national team, but added he had to take the decision after sealing a deal with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
Ighalo stated this during an Instagram interview with a Ghanaian journalist.
Ighalo helped Nigeria to a third-place finish at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt as tournament’s top scorer with five goals, but the 31-year-old announced his retirement from the team shorty afterwards.
“I needed to stop because it is too long from China to Nigeria for national team duties. I’m not getting younger and we have a lot of young exciting players coming up, Victor Osimhen doing so well, Alex Iwobi and Samuel Chukwueze are there.
“I thought about it, ‘this is the right time for me to leave.’”
He added, “It was a difficult decision because I love playing for my country, it’s a country that gave me everything I have today. So, anytime I was called upon to play for my country it was a joy to play.
“That decision was difficult but I have to do it for my health, for me to play longer in my club, so I had to stop travelling very far.”