Last week, Chelsea right-wing-back-forward Victor Moses announced his international retirement from the Nigeria national football team, much to the shock of anyone and everyone involved. It was a decision that seemed to come out of nowhere from the 27-year-old, and left many scratching their heads, including teammates.
“I didn’t expect it. I was just as shocked as everyone else when I heard. It is a massive loss for Nigeria because Victor has been fantastic for us.”
”I have only played with him the last year and a half. Everyone sees what he can do.”
-William Troost-Ekong, Udinese centre back; source: ESPN
In his announcement, Moses said he retired from the national team so he could focus on club football and his young family, while giving the next generation of Super Eagles a chance to shine. Yet, Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr hopes he reverses his decision, as he can definitely still make an impact for the team in their upcoming tournaments. Rohr is hoping that a chance for another Africa Cup of Nations trophy could serve as just the right motivation.
“We spoke already and I hope that his decision is not definitive. I think it depends on his motivation. If he really wants to commit himself again, he is welcome.”
”Maybe the chance to win the Afcon is motivation. We will see.”
-Gernan Rohr; source: ESPN
For most of us Chelsea fans, international football is more often than not a nuisance and an unwelcome distraction (especially the ACN that’s held in the middle of the season!). But there is a reason why players usually care so much about it. The chance of proudly represent your country and their people — 200 million strong, in this case — is often considered the highest honor for a player, especially at a major tournament.
Moses is still in his prime and has plenty left to give both at club and international level. But this decision is something only he can make, so good luck to him in making the right choice.