Drogba announces international retirement

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PARIS (AFP) – Veteran Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba on Friday announced his retirement from international football at the age of 36.

“It is with much sadness that I have decided to retire from international football,” Drogba wrote in a message on his Twitter account.

“These past 12 years in the national team have been full of emotions. From my first full call up to my last match I have always tried to give my best for my country.

SWEET VICTORY: Drogba with the Emirates Cup Sunday. AFP.

SWEET VICTORY: Drogba with the Emirates Cup Sunday. AFP.

“I am very proud to have been captain of this team for eight years and to have contributed to playing for my country on the world stage of football taking part in three World Cups and two Africa Cup of Nations finals.

“I cannot convey enough thanks to the fans for all the love and support during these years. All my goals, all my caps, all our victories are for you — I love you.”

Drogba, who recently rejoined Chelsea for a second spell at Stamford Bridge, retires after scoring 66 goals in 106 games for the Elephants.

The Ivory Coast have appeared at the last three World Cups but have never managed to get beyond the group phase, while he featured in the sides that lost the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012.

Frenchman Herve Renard last week replaced compatriot Sabri Lamouchi as coach of the Elephants, whose next target is the 2015 Cup of Nations in Morocco.

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