Manchester United loanee striker, Odion Ighalo has revealed the reason why he won’t consider a return to Nigeria’s Super Eagles team. Ighalo retired after the end of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, he left when the ovation was the loudest having finished the competition as the highest goal scorer.
The Edo born striker hanged his boot for the national team to pay more attention to club footballs. Although, many critics have stated that Ighalo’s retirement from the Super Eagles team was his way of hitting back at Nigerians for how he was badly treated after Nigeria crashed out of the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Super Eagles of Nigeria crashed out of the competition after they were defeated by their familiar World Cup enemy, the Lionel Messi led Argentina team.
Over the past few appearances of the Super Eagles at the World Cup, Argentina has no doubt become the team’s greatest nightmares. The 2018 World Cup competition in Russia was no exception, Argentina beat the Super Eagles out of the competition with a 2-1 win. After the match, Odion Ighalo was at the center of heavy criticism for failing to convert clear chances into goals that could have saved the team from eviction.
Consequently, the 30-year-old striker was not just criticized, he also received life-threatening messages from his countrymen for his failure to deliver at the World Cup. Reasonably, Odion Ighalo’s impressive performance at the 2019 AFCON competition was more of a compensation. After the match, the Manchester United loanee striker announced his retirement reminding Nigerians how bad he was treated when the team crashed out of World Cup in Russia 2018.
Apparently, the only clue Nigerians have to what could have caused the 30-year-old attacker to retire so soon from national football was because he was badly treated after the World Cup in Russia 2018. However, in recent reports, Odion Ighalo stated that the Super Eagles team is well furnished with promising youngsters and he would like to give them a chance to prove their worth to the country.
He called out Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze as great players with full potentials to shake the world in the nearest future. Contrary to people’s belief that he left the Gernot Rohr‘s led team with a face-off, he stated that he’s still in good terms with the coach. In his words, “For now I am done with the Super Eagles but in life, you can never say never. I am in contact with the coach constantly, four days ago he sent me a message.
“I still message him to wish the team good luck before they play a game.
“We have young, very good players in the team, the likes of Osimhen coming up scoring goals, Chukwueze – good exciting players.
“I just want them to keep doing the job because they are doing so well. For Super Eagles I want to concentrate on club football for now,” Ighalo said.