Out-of-favour Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has announced his retirement from international football.
The Cote d’Ivoire star, 33, said in a statement on his website on Tuesday: “Writing this note was probably ‘the most difficult match of my life’. 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.”
Toure who made his Elephants debut in 2004 and became captain in 2014 led the side to the African title in 2015.
He added in his statement: “I would like to say solemnly that I am stopping!!! It’s true that I had several titles at clubs, national cups, league trophies. I played in Belgium, Ukraine, Greece, France and in Spain where I was able to win the prestigious Champions League with Barca in 2009 and also in England, where I continue to play.
“With the Elephants, it was even more special. I learned to win for my country. That’s why I will always retain the pride in having achieved four African Golden Balls for the Ivory Coast.”
Toure has been capped 113 times by Cote d’Ivoire.