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Victor Moses announces shock international retirement from Nigeria

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Wait what?

Nigeria v Argentina: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

Chelsea winger-turned-wingback-turned-winger(?) Victor Moses has announced his retirement from international football. The announcement was made by Victor Moses himself through a tweet. To say that the announcement was a shock would be an understatement; Moses is still just 27.

In his statement, Victor cites some of the usual reasons given in these circumstances, concentrating on club football, his young family, and giving the next generation a chance.

“I would like to announce that after much thought I have made the decision to retire from playing international football. I have experienced some of the best moments of my life wearing the Super Eagles shirt and have memories with me that will last a lifetime. Nothing will ever compare to what it felt like to represent Nigeria on behalf of our country.

“However I feel that now is the right time to step away in order to be able to focus fully on club career and my young family as well as to allow the next generation of Super Eagle stars the opportunity to step up and to flourish. We are blessed as a nation to have so many exciting young players coming through and now is their time.

“There are so many highlights that stand out for me over the years; from making my debut, to playing in two World Cups and being a part of the team to win the African Nations Cup for first time for our nation since 1994 being just few of them.

“I have already spoken to the manager by telephone and would like to say thank you to him and his staff, the NFF and all of my teammates for all of their support over the years. Most importantly I would like to say thank you to the Nigerian people for believing in me and supporting me over the years. It’s meant the world to me and my family and I will always be a proud Nigerian supporting the team. Thank you for the memories and good luck to the team for the future”

-Victor Moses; source: Twitter

Moses’ international career started not with Nigeria but with England — he represented the Three Lions at U16, U17, U19 and U21 levels. He won the Victory Shield with England U16 and was part of the squad at the 2007 Euro U17s, where he scored three times to finish as the competition’s top scorer.

However, when it came time for senior international football, Moses declared his allegiance to the country of his birth, who were ready to pick him when England weren’t yet. In 37 appearances since, usually alongside Chelsea legend Mikel, Moses has gone on to represent Nigeria at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups and all the Africa Cup of Nations in between. In 2013, he led the Super Eagles to the ACN title, scoring twice, being named to the Team of the Tournament and also getting named the ‘Fair Player of the Tournament’.

In February of this year, Moses was also named Nigerian Player of the Year by the Nigerian Football Federation on Monday in the inaugural edition of their annual awards, thereby creating history in the process.

It’s indeed surprising that Moses has decided to call it a day on his national team career at just 27, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Apparently a few more announcements are expected as well, in what could be a more significant changing of the guard for the Super Eagles.

Hey, at least this means more Victor for us!