Odion Ighalo has ended his run with the Super Eagles of Nigeria. The 30 year old hangs his boots having endured criticism for most parts of his International career before ending it on a high note, finishing as top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations competition.
It’s been a topsy-turvy few years for the Super Eagles of Nigeria under the reign of German manager, Gernot Rohr with majority of the team’s fanbase disapproving of his tactics and team selection.
Indeed, personell issues have been one of the reasons for the heavy criticism of the German gaffer, with the upheld faith in Odion Ighalo as striker for the Super Eagles the main bone of contention.
With his recent performances in the AFCON competition and World Cup qualifiers, Ighalo has justified his coach’s unswerving trust finishing the Africa Cup of Nations as top scorer before calling it time on his national team commitments.
His International career started slowly, managing only two goals in 10 games.
On coming in as coach, Rohr decided to maintain him as Nigeria’s striker in spite of his less than stellar goalscoring record up to that point.
That said, the Shanghai Shenhua striker wore a goal scoring form in late 2017 for his Chinese side following a slump with Premier League side, Watford.
He failed to score in six matches leading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup where he reached his nadir with a series of poor performances as the Nigerian team fell at the first hurdle. Following this, Ighalo received threats after threats to his life and family.
It had appeared at one point like the pressure was beginning to make the striker cave in and soon call it time on his International career but he decided to soldier on for one more year.
He ended it on a high with the AFCON golden boot including a decisive brace against Cameroon which gave Nigeria a 3-2 win over the West African nation.