New Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has disclosed the real reason he resigned his international era with the Super Eagles shortly after winning the top scorer award at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Shanghai Shenhua-owned player says he had to concentrate on his club career because the long distance from China to Nigeria and back whenever he was called up for national team duties was wearing him out.
Ighalo reckons that he made the decision at the right time, pointing out that there are exciting young players in the Super Eagles team.
“I got injured in the third place game with Tunisia, in the first half I pulled my hamstring, I have been having problems on that hamstring even before the tournament,” Ighalo told Ghanaian journalist Nana Aba Anamoah via Instagram Live.
“I needed to stop because it is too long from China to Nigeria for national team duties, I am not getting young again and we have lot of young exciting players coming up, Victor Osimhen doing so well, Iwobi and Chukwueze are there.
“I thought about it, this is the right time for me to leave.”
Ighalo 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 am being called upon to play for my country it is 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 career, then I have to stop traveling very far.”
A former Flying Eagles captain, Ighalo made his full debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly against Uganda in March 2015 and ended his national team career with 15 goals in 34 games.