Yaya Toure has announced his retirement from international football. The Ivorian will no longer play for his home country, Ivory Coast.
Toure, who has been four-time African footballer of the year, stated that his decision to stop playing for his home country was ‘the most difficult match of [his] life.’
He also added that his age and intensity of training had nothing to do with this move.
“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.”
“Football is everything to me and it gave me so much in my career that I no longer feel able to set myself new goals as a player with the Elephants of Ivory Coast,” the Man city midfielder who has been capped 113 times said in a statement posted on his website.
In the same statement written in both English and French, Toure expressed his joy at having had the opportunity to play for his country. He made mention of special moments in his international career, both the downsides and victories and the impact they had on him.
“I can still bring a lot to the players, to the youth of my country and to the African continent and to the world. I would like to give the children what football has given me. Football gave me a lot. It taught me many things, things of life. This is one of the most important lessons in my life.”
He ended the statement by thanking God, his family, fans and friends who have supported him throughout his international career.
Yaya Toure made his debut for Ivory Coast in 2004. In 2015, he captained the Elephants to win the African Nations Cup. He has made over 100 appearances and scored 19 goals, awarded the BBC African player of the year twice, and also been a four-time African football player of the year. He has also been nominated for the Ballon d’Or five times.
The Ivorian currently plays for English club, Manchester City.