Nigeria forward Emmanuel Emenike has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 28, becoming the second player after Vincent Enyeama to sign out of the senior national team.
The Al Ain player who was top scorer at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa took the decision for peace to reign in the Super Eagles where he felt should not be a ‘family house’ or a ‘threat zone’ to any individual.
Reports had suggested that Emenike might be kicked out of the Super Eagles setup no thanks to his poor form for the country. He had struggled for goals since finding the back of the net against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa during the 2014 Fifa World Cup play-off in October 2013.
This might have forced him out of the team, bringing an end to a Nigeria career that saw him play in one World Cup and one Africa Cup of Nations where his four goals handed the Super Eagles their third title as well as the topscorer’s award.
He wrote on Instagram: “No more Eagles career! After five great years, I am happy to announce that I have put full-stop to my national team career for the sake of national peace.”
“It’s a pleasure for me to have played for this great country. I never regretted it and I think it’s the best time to end it. Million thanks to all the fans who have been very supportive during the good and bad times.
“I am very proud of my performance, I am proud of my team mates and I am very proud of the nation called ‘Nigeria’. My Afcon gold medal is a sign of great achievement, My Afcon topscorer award speaks a lot about my commitment and dedication to the team. Super Eagles is a camp not a family house, and it shouldn’t be a threat zone for any individual.
“I have done according to our national anthem. All my dreams came true in the national team, I dreamt (sic) to win Nations Cup for Nigeria after 20-years, I dreamt (sic) to played at the World Cup as well as to make a name for myself… In the space of five years, I got them. I’m a winner!
“For every disappointing fans, maybe due to my inability to re-establish my goal scoring instinct for Super Eagles, I will like to say I’m sorry but the ones I had scored counted well for the team.
”As long as Nigeria remains, you and I will always remember the name ‘Emenike’. “Finally, I am happy to make a bow and continue supporting the team every time,” he concluded.
Emenike will be fondly remembered for his rib cracking missile against Cote d’Ivoire in the quarter final of the 2013 Afcon where the Eagles soared 2-1 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg.