Chelsea and Nigeria wide man Victor Moses has announced his retirement from international football.
The 27-year-old has played 37 times, scoring 12 goals, for the Super Eagles, which included featuring at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
Moses said in a statement posted on his official Twitter feed on Wednesday: “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 compete (sic) to what it felt like to represent Nigeria.
“However I feel that now is the right time to step away in order to be able to focus fully on (my) 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.”
Moses, who was also part of the Nigeria side who won the 2013 African Nations Cup, added: ‘I have already spoken to the manager (Gernot Rohr) by telephone and would like to say thank you to him and his staff, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation) and all of my team-mates 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.”
The 27-year-old highlighted that the reason for his decision is to focus on his club career
…his best moments in Eagles shirt
First and final goals: In total Moses made 38 appearances for Nigeria, during which he scored 12 goals, and quite remarkably 10 those strikes came in the 71st minute or later, while six were scored in injury time, with only one netted in the first half.
The first, and second, of his 12 goals came in October 2012, just over seven months after he made his debut against Rwanda, aged 21. The match was a 6-1 thrashing of Liberia, with Moses bagging Nigeria’s third and fifth of the game.
He went on to net another 10 for his country, including an incredibly cool penalty in a 2-1 defeat to Argentina at the 2018 World Cup, which proved to be his final strike for the Super Eagles – the African side may have lost the game but Moses’ acrobatic celebration was a sight to behold – scroll down for video.
Winning African Cup of Nations: In 2013 Nigeria ended 19 years of hurt after they won the African Cup of Nations for the first time since 1994, as they took their tally to three successes in the continent’s showcase spectacle.
Moses played a key role in the triumph, bagging both goals in a 2-0 win over Ethiopia in Nigeria’s final group game, which meant his side progressed through to the quarter-finals, behind group winners Burkina Faso. The West African country then went on to overcome Ivory Coast 2-1, before thrashing Mali 4-1 in the semi-finals.
In the final Nigeria once again locked horns with Burkina Faso, who they drew with against the group stages, but this time they came out 1-0 winners thanks to a stunning strike from Sunday Mba. Moses was particularly impressive and nearly got his name on the scoresheet late on.
Representing Nigeria at two World Cups: Moses took part in two World Cups during his six years in the international arena, the first of which came four years ago in Brazil. He started the goalless draw against Iran, but was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina and 3-2 loss to Argentina. However, he returned to the first team in the knockout stages, where Nigeria lost 2-0 to France.
Earlier this summer he took part in the World Cup in Russia, and played every minute of Nigeria’s three group stage games, and scored what was at the time a crucial equalising penalty.
Fans are obviously surprised to see the Chelsea star retire from national duty at the age of 27
Moses, 27, highlighted that the reason for his decision is to focus on his club career and family after 12 goals and 37 matches for the three-time African champions.
Despite the shock, fans appreciated the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner for his service to the country.
Just a thought. #CFC ? ? — The Pride of London (@PrideOLondon)
Waoh! @VictorMoses has just announced his retirement from international football having explored the @FIFAWorldCup 2018 with the @NGSuperEagles ! Best of luck in all your endeavours! Oluseye Petphil (@petphil001).
At what age….. Sad mode — chelsbat (@bolashayo).
Thank you for all your contribution to our dear country some years back, I wish you success ahead. — Biola Hammed Ajani (@biolarul).
@VictorMoses thou I think it is a bit too early to quit the national team as you still have more to offer, I thank you for the memories and the dedication to the National team. – Daniel M Bijimi (@Dmeindous).