If was a shocking news to many football pundits and lovers in Nigeria when one of Nigeria’s finest players, Victor Moses announced his retirement from the Super Eagles at the age of 27 years on Wednesday.
The decision which is still seen as a surprise considering the fact that at 27 years old, the Chelsea star is just in the peak of his career and expected to pilot Nigeria’s quest of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with the team having failed to qualify for two of the previous editions.
With the team set to face Seychelles on September 7 before facing Libya, many football lovers have been hopeful that with Moses’ presence in the Super Eagles, there is a possibility that the team would qualify for the tournament.
But then, with his decision to retire from the senior National team when they needed him most, will it affect Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the tournament?
Moses came into limelight after playing an integral role in helping Nigeria win their third Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa under late Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi. He was also part of the team that represented Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup.
The former Wigan star has played 37 times, scoring 12 goals, for the Super Eagles, which included featuring at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
He was also instrumental in helping the team qualify for the 2018 World Cup despite Nigeria been pitted alongside Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia. Moses scored against Argentina in Nigeria’s 2-1 loss in their last group game at the World Cup.
In his tweet, he said: ‘I have experienced some of the best moments of my life wearing the Super Eagles shirt and have memories with me that will last a lifetime. Nothing will ever compete (sic) to what it felt like to represent Nigeria.
‘However, I feel that now is the right time to step away in order to be able to focus fully on (my) club career and my young family as well as to allow the next generation of Super Eagle stars the opportunity to step up and to flourish.’
‘I have already spoken to the manager (Gernot Rohr) by telephone and would like to say thank you to him and his staff, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation) and all of my team-mates for all of their support over the years.
‘Most importantly, I would like to say thank you to the Nigerian people for believing in me and supporting me over the years.’
There is no doubt that Moses will be missed by Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr considering the fact that he adds more quality and pace to the team and gives opponent serious nightmare any time the ball is with him.
His commitment whenever he dons the green and white jersey of Nigeria has always been second to none but, his decision should be respected.
What’s more important at this stage, will be for Rohr to look for a perfect replacement for Moses before Nigeria play Seychelles on September 7 in an AFCON qualifier.
I smells division in super eagles,and is rather unfortunate.
This is a big blow to the coach and to Nigeria's quality of play. He will deeply be missed as there is no tormentor-in-chief to the opponents like him. I just home he will rescind his decision. It's going to be difficult to find a replacement just as there has not been a replacement for Okocha. Our team is a less threatening or ordinary one without Moses and Mikel. The coaching team has a very responsibility to begin to dig deep into finding a possible replacement for him and Mikel who will soon announces his retirement too.