Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike on Tuesday announced his retirement from international football, after a barren spell in front of goal.
The 28-year-old said on his Instagram account he was calling time on his five-year career for the national side, telling fans he was “no longer a Super Eagles player”. He has not scored for the Super Eagles since October 2013.
“It has always being my pleasure to play and win for the team,” he wrote.
ABOVE: South Africa’s defender Sibusiso Khumalo and Nigeria’s forward Emmanuel Emenike (right) vie for the ball during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at Akwa Ibom stadium in Uyo, Nigeria, on November 19, 2014 ©Pius Utomi Ekpei (AFP/File)
“I am always proud of my successful years in the team and I am pleased to call it off at this point in order to avoid insults.”
Emenike, who plays his club football for Al Ain of Dubai, is the second player to announce his retirement from Nigeria’s senior squad this month.
Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama– Nigeria’s most-capped player — said he was calling it quits after a much publicised row with coach Sunday Oliseh.
“It was not an easy decision. I didn’t think my international career would come to a sudden end, but that is life,” Emenike told BBC Sport.
“Sometimes it’s better to remove yourself from an environment that doesn’t suit you mentally and physically, this is what I have done.”
He added: “I also felt it was important that people hear directly from me to avoid a funny twist to the story.
“I wish to thank the coaches who gave me a chance, fellow players and in particular big thanks to all my fans for their unconditional support.”
Oliseh was reportedly considering leaving out Emenike for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Swaziland because he has not scored at international level for two years.
The former Spartak Moscow player, at Al Ain on loan from Turkish side Fenerbahce, has, however, featured in the first four matches since Oliseh took over from Steven Keshi.
Emenike made his international debut in a friendly against Sierra Leone in Lagos in February 2011 and was top scorer at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations that Nigeria won.
But he soon after hit a bad patch and his last goal for Nigeria was in October 2013, in a World Cup qualifying play-off against Ethiopia.
In all, he made 37 appearance for the Super Eagles, scoring nine times.