Ghana midfielder legend Stephen Appiah has announced his retirement from international football, Ghanasoccernet can reveal.
The 29-year-old had been pondering his future since Ghana’s quarter final exit at the 2010 World Cup exit in July.
Appiah, who made his debut for the Black Stars in 1996, led his country to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 2006 and the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
“I have thought long and hard over this decision with my family, the Ghana FA and my friends,” Appiah told Ghanasoccernet.com exclusively.
“I think that this is the right moment for me to make way for the younger ones to take over the mantle because I believe they are capable.
“Deputy captain John Mensah has shown that he is overly competent to lead the team and give guidance while the other senior players are also available to give the necessary support.
“Ghana football has given me a lot and for that I am grateful to the people of my country for giving me the noble opportunity to represent them.
“The people of Africa have in diverse ways supported Ghana during my period of playing for my country and to them also I am grateful.
“It is now time for me to concentrate on my club career but I am available in any capacity to help my country if my country needs my experience and knowledge.
“The future of Ghana football is bright and I know that even without me the Black Stars will continue to flourish.
Appiah will go down as one of Ghana’s all-time greats, having helped the country to qualify for the World Cup for the first time.
And he played a major role during his playing time of the Black Stars as he made 68 appearances and scored 17 goals.
As the captain of the Black Stars, Appiah is seen as the major reason why Ghana qualified for the World Cup for the first as he united the squad previously plagued by infighting.
Ghana had been blessed my many talented players in the past including three-time African Player of the Year Abedi Pele and former Germany Bundesliga top scorer Anthony Yeboah but they could not lead to country to the World Cup.
His inspirational qualities have always been hailed by the Ghana FA and several coaches who have led the Black Stars in recent times.