MANCHESTER: Four-time African footballer of the year Yaya Toure announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old Ivory international capped 113 times for his national team, said it had been an incredibly difficult decision.
“Writing this note was probably ‘the most difficult match of my life’,” wrote Toure.”After 14 years at the highest level, I’m sure this is the right time for me! The fact that I am 33 now, the intensity of training and the multitude of games are not the reasons why I am making this decision.”
The Manchester City midfielder, who is part of the golden generation of Ivory Coast with players such as Didier Drogba, his brother Kolo Toure and Gervinho, said that his glory with the national side in 2015, where Côte d’Ivoire won the African Cup of Nation remains the highlight of his career.
The 33-year-old made his international debut in 2004, captained the victorious ‘Elephants’ side having replaced Drogba as skipper when the latter finally called it a day at international level after the 2014 World Cup.
Toure said, “I would like to say solemnly that I am stopping!!!” The African legend continued, “It’s true that I had several titles at clubs, national cups, league trophies.”
“I played in Belgium, Ukraine, Greece, France and in Spain where I was able to win the prestigious Champions League with Barca in 2009 and also in England, where I continue to play. With the Elephants, it was even more special. I learned to win for my country. That’s why I will always retain the pride in having achieved four African Golden Balls for the Ivory Coast.”