Nigeria shocked by Victor Moses’ premature international retirement

Yesterday, the Chelsea winger announced his retirement from international football at the age of 27.

Nigeria shocked by Victor Moses’ premature international retirement
Toru Hanai REUTERS

After just six years playing for Nigeria’s senior squad, on Wednesday, Victor Moses declared himself unavailable for national selection.

The Chelsea winger released a statement on his official Instagram account announcing his departure from the Super Eagles.

"I would like to announce that after much thought I have made the decision to retire from playing international football," the 27-year-old 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.

"Thank you for the memories and good luck to the team for the future."

With the Super Eagles, Moses made 37 appearances, scored 13 goals and made six assists. He was part of the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

"Unwise decision"

Former Nigeria captain Henry Nwosu has stated that Moses’ retirement will hurt his chances at Chelsea and that it’s a decision that will come back to haunt him.

"‘I don't think it's a wise decision because he is still very young. He needs to play for Nigeria to be more recognised at his club because Nigeria is a big name in football," Nwosu told Goal in an interview.

"It might make him lose his place in his club, they may look at him as a player who is not playing in the national team so he doesn't deserve regular playing time.

"For your club, that's the most important thing because the more you are playing for your club, the better for the national team.

"Club competitions are different from national competitions but you need both to compete at top level. I'm surprised that he has retired now."

Nigeria shocked

Nigerians have reacted with shock and surprise at Moses’ retirement from the Super Eagles.

Super Eagles’ assistant coach Alloy Agu said that it was a staggering announcement, and that he hopes the Chelsea winger will rescind his decision.

"He never gave any indication during Russia 2018 that he was discontented. He was very lively in camp, he is very respectful and always encouraging his colleagues," Agu said.

"We never saw this coming, it is a shock to me and I was he reconsider his, because Nigeria still needs him."