Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo has announced his retirement from the national side after the Super Eagles fell 2-0 to France in the second round of the World Cup.
The 33-year-old Fenerbache defender became the first Nigerian to play 100 international matches but capped it with an own goal in added time against Les Bleus.
He follows in the footsteps of Nwankwo Kanu who announced his retirement after the 2010 World Cup.
“It was a bitter-sweet moment for me but I think it is time to focus on my family,” Yobo told reporters. “It has been a long road.”
Yobo made his debut with the Super Eagles in 2001 but became a mainstay of the team during the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.
He played at three World Cups and won the Africa Cup of Nations as captain last year.
“We’ve won the Africa Nations Cup and we came here and were not disgraced,” said the Fenerbahce man.
“I never thought that I’d be here because I missed the last six games of the season through injury. They gave me an opportunity but it is unfortunate what happened.
“I gave my all,” he said.
However, Yobo thinks that he’s leaving the national team in capable hands with the duo of defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona able to continue in his place.
“They would grow,” he said. “Omeruo has done very well. Oboabona was injured but he got his chance at the Nations Cup. They’re going to get better, the experience is going to come and one of them has to take the responsibility and be a leader.”
The defender said he would like to concentrate on club football afterwards.