Victor Moses has announced his immediate retirement from international football to concentrate fully on his club career.
The 27-year-old Chelsea wingback made the shock announcement on Twitter on Wednesday, dealing a major blow to Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr’s plans for the Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Nigeria were beaten 2-0 by South Africa in their first group qualifying match in Uyo last year, and the three-time African champions need a convincing win over Seychelles next month to keep qualification hopes alive.
In his statement, Moses said he informed Rohr that he had decided to call time on his six-year international career “by telephone”.
Moses quickly become a fan favourite after he helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa – after he switched his international allegiance from England to Nigeria, where he and his parents were born. He represented England at U16, U17, U19 and U21 levels.
Some of his fans have taken to social medial to express their shock and sadness at his decision’s to quit the Eagles.
“I would like to announce that after much thought I have made the decision to retire from playing international football,” Moses, who represented Nigeria at the Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 World Cups, wrote.
“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 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 Eagles 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.
“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.”
The player, who joined Chelsea from Wigan in 2012, scored 12 goals in 38 appearances for Nigeria. He was instrumental in Chelsea’s Premier League title triumph last year.
Some of the fans who reacted to Moses’ retirement on Wednesday said Nigeria would miss him.
“Didn’t expect him to retire so early. Thank you Victor Moses for all you did for Nigeria. Wish you the very best in the days ahead. Cheers bro,” Tolulopeayoka@Tlops wrote on Twitter.
Abba@NuraynMuhammad wrote, “He tried for the Super Eagles. I wish him success in his career.”
Osasu Obayiuwana wrote, “This is a strange decision. Why would Victor Moses quit the Super Eagles at 27?”
“Why is Victor Moses retiring at a time Nigerians need him the most? Our football team has improved and we’re getting better at each tournament. He is just 27…Ronaldo is 33 but still playing international football. Victor Moses is a young talent and I’m disappointed,” Angel Gabriel @Okom_UGabriel wrote.
However, some of the fans also fired broadsides at Moses for quitting the national team.
“Victor Moses is not a legend as far as I’m concerned, he should have learnt from Mikel who has played all the cadre of national teams,” @Legzy111 wrote.