Côte d’Ivoire’s charismat ic skipper Didier Drogba announced his international retirement on Friday, after earning 104 caps and scoring a record 65 goals for his country between 2002 and 2014.
“It is with great sadness that I have decided to put an end to my international career. These twelve years spent with the national team have been filled with emotions. From my first cap to my last game, it has always been very important for me to give my best for my country,” the 36-year-old striker posted on his Facebook page.
The Ivoirian Football Federation expressed its surprise after hearing the news, but according to sources in Abidjan, Drogba decided to take the step over displays of disrespect towards him.
In a row over the armband with Yaya Touré at the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, FIF president Augustin Sidy Diallo had reportedly taken sides with the Manchester City’s midfielder. And the Chelsea’s striker has felt increasingly sidelined by the Ivoirian officials.
And when Hervé Renard was appointed as the Elephants’ new coach, the former Zambia boss contacted Yaya and other players while ignoring the emblematic Ivoirian captain, who then decided to take the lead, according to the same sources.