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Rohr laments Mikel, Ighalo exit from Super Eagles

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has described the retirement of both Captain Mikel Obi and striker Odion Ighalo from international football at the close of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as a bitter pill to swallow, even as he commended both players for their meritorious services to the Super Eagles.


While Mikel called it quit with the Super Eagles after the national team claimed the AFCON bronze medal following Ighalo’s solitary winner in the third place match on Wednesday, Ighalo amidst wide speculations formally announced his retirement yesterday after what he described as ‘an amazing five-year journey.’

But speaking on the developments, Rohr said both players did exceptional well during their spells with the Super Eagles: “I think the retirement of both   players (Mikel and Ighalo) means at first to recognise all what they have done for Nigerian football; Ighalo’s decision is very hard because he brought us with his goals to AFCON and bronze medal giving a good answer to all the critics.”

Similarly, Super Eagles’ Team Media Officer (TMO), Toyin Ibitoye, said the retirement of the duo has presented fresh challenges to the coaching crew, noting both Mikel and Ighalo would be sorely missed within the rank and file of the national team.

“We will definitely miss both of them but that is just the reality of life; there is a time to start and a time to stop,” Ibitoye waxed philosophically. “The coaches now have their jobs cut out to fill the void left by these players with talents of almost same quality. It will not be easy but it is not also impossible.”

Ibitoye further praised Ighalo for overcoming initial fears to be crowned as the 2019 AFCON Golden Boot winner after his five goals partly helped the Super Eagles to win the bronze medal.

Read Also:Rohr: I will resolve my Eagles future in the next few weeks

 He said: “I am happy for Ighalo; his hard work has paid off. Hampered by hamstring worries at the start of the tournament and at the end, he still emerged as the top scorer. The Super Eagles will miss his (Ighalo) power play.”

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