8 September 2014 15:28
Didier Zokora has called time on his international career with the Ivory Coast.
The 33-year-old midfielder has represented the African nation since 2000 and is their record appearance holder with 121 caps.
Zokora, who currently plays his domestic football with Akhisar Belediyespor in Turkey, played at five straight Africa Cup of Nations tournaments between 2006 and 2013.
He has also played in the last three World Cups, including this year’s tournament in Brazil, where the Ivory Coast were knocked out in the group stages.
Speaking about his decision, Zokora said: “After 15 years at the highest level, I think it’s time for me to end my international career.
“It is time to give a chance to the younger ones. In the game against Sierra Leone [a 2-1 friendly victory on Saturday], I saw some young players who can validly fit in.”
Zokora has enjoyed spells at the likes of Saint-Etienne, Tottenham, Sevilla and Trabzonspor throughout a distinguished career.
His decision marks the second high-profile Ivory Coast retirement since the World Cup after Chelsea striker Didier Drogba stood down last month.