Senegal and Newcastle Midfielder Diame Quits International Football
Newcastle midfielder, Mohamed Diame has retired from international football. The 29-year-old Senegalese today announced that he is quitting on grounds that he might not able to put up with the toll of partaking in the forthcoming World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers.
Diame’s decision follows Senegal’s exit in the quarter-finals of the just concluded AFCON Games in Gabon, where the Teranga Lions were ousted by eventual cup winners Cameroon.
The erstwhile Hull City and West Ham United star said he decided to hang up his boots internationally after consulting with current coach Aliou Cisse and the Senegalese FA boss.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I have thought a lot about it and believe me, I did not make the decision easily.[/perfectpullquote]
“I think retiring (from playing for Senegal) now is the best moment,” Diame said.
“After this AFCON, there is the next World Cup and the next Cup of Nations in 2019. It is very possible that for these next tournaments, I may not be in shape to take part.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Starting from here, I prefer to stop now so as not to break the group in the middle of the competition.”[/perfectpullquote]
Born in France to a Senegalese father, Diame qualified to play for Senegal and made his international debut in March 2011 with thirty-two caps to his name.
The midfielder, who at one point reportedly courted interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid, was one of three over-aged players in Senegal’s squad for the 2012 Olympics.
Diame scored his international first goal in an AFCON qualifier which ended in a 2-0 victory over Niger, in 2016.
Featured photo: Getty Images