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Yaya Toure announces retirement from international football

Yaya Toure played 113 times for his country, including three appearances at the World Cup. Photograph: (AFP)

United Kingdom Sep 20, 2016, 02.47 PM (IST)
Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure has announced his decision to retire from international football on Tuesday.

"Writing this note was probably 'the most difficult match of my life'," read a statement by him.

"After 14 years at the highest level, I`m sure this is the right time for me! The fact that I am 33 now, the intensity of training and the multitude of games are not the reasons why I am making this decision," Toure wrote.

"Football is everything to me and it gave me so much in my career that I no longer feel able to set myself new goals as a player with the Elephants of Ivory Coast."

Captain of his national team, Toure made his debut in 2004. He has since then made 113 appearances for Ivory Coast. He captained his country to an Africa Cup of Nations win in 2015. The versatile African also helped his country finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012 editions of Africa Cup of Nations. 

The current Manchester City midfielder has been facing a tough time to get into Pep Guardiola's starting XI.

Speaking some time after Toure announced his retirement, Guardiola said he could play for City only after he apologised to the team for comments made by his agent.

Toure's manager Dimitri Seluk had said Guardiola should "apologise" to Toure if his team failed to win the championship this season.

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