Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo has announced his retirement from the national side after the Super Eagles fell 2-0 to France in the World Cup round of 16 on Monday.
The 33-year-old became the first Nigerian to play 100 international matches but his day ended on a sour note with an own goal in added time against Les Bleus.
“It was a bittersweet 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 Japan and South Korea.
He played at three World Cups and captained Nigeria to the title at the African Cup of Nations last year.
“We’ve won the African 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."
Yobo thinks he’s leaving the national team in capable hands with 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.”