Peter Odemwingie admits ‘Nations Cup’ regret as he retires

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Despite helping the Super Eagles finish third at the Africa showpiece thrice, the forward missed out on the chance to eventually win the trophy

Peter Odemwingie has admitted missing Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations winning team in 2013 remains his only regret as he retires from football.

The forward played key roles in helping the three-time African champions finish third at the tournament in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

But he was left out of Stephen Keshi’s squad that eventually won the 2013 edition in South Africa.

And as he retires from playing professional football, the former West Bromwich Albion forward reflects on his achievements and shortcomings.

"I think not being part of the Nations Cup-winning squad when I was at my peak is a big regret," Odemwingie told BBC Sport.

"I don't think there is anyone that will say they are without regrets. I did everything I could to be a part of that squad but it never happened, but I had an amazing time with my country.

"A lot of interesting things to be proud of at club level that would be too much to talk about. There were few mistakes but you learn as you grow and now I am in a good position to advice other young players.”

Odemwingie won a silver medal with Nigeria U23 team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, featured for the Super Eagles at the 2010 World Cup and scored at the 2014 edition.

The forward who played in Belgium, France, Russia, England and Indonesia claimed the Premier League Player of the Month for September 2010, April 2011 and February 2012 while at West Brom.

"I can count on a lot of highs but three stands out for me. Playing in the Premier League and winning player of the month awards,” he continued.

"Scoring a brace for Nigeria against South Africa at my Nations Cup debut in 2004 is also unforgettable. To score for Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup against Bosnia was something special because I know what it means to my people back home.

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Odemwingie who is currently a Fifa ambassador for the Women's World Cup in France has revealed his desire to embark on coaching career.

"Right now I have a role as Fifa's ambassador for the Women's World Cup in France then I can focus on my coaching badges. Football has been good to me and I'm grateful,” he added.

"I've scored goals at all the top clubs I played and I believe with the help of my teammates I can still do the same here."

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