Ighalo hints on early retirement from professional football

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Super Eagles and Al-Wehda striker, Odion Jude Ighalo, has revealed that he will soon hang the booth for professional football.

The 35-year-old forward, who was AFCON 2019 Golden boot winner,  started his career with Osun United F.C. before joining Julius Berger in 2006. He moved to Europe the following year, joining FK Lyn before going on to play for bigger clubs like Udinese, Watford and Manchester United.

After over seventeen years of playing professional football, Ighalo revealed he has limited time on the pitch as his body is beginning to tell.

“Yeah, not long, because you get tired, the body is not the same way it used to be. Sometimes you enjoy the game, but I don’t kill myself about it. It’s my job and I’m a professional player and try to win games. Five years ago, if I lose a game, I go crazy and get angry, but now after the next day, I move on, not because I don’t love my job, but because I’m winding up. Five years ago, I could play three games in five days and recover properly, but now one game takes a longer while to recover. It tells on your body because you’re not young anymore, and sometimes you’re mentally exhausted,” the former Al-Hilal striker told OmaSports TV.

Odion Ighalo says he is close to retirement. After 17 years in Europe, China and Saudi Arabia, the former super eagles striker is now preparing for life after football.

The 2019 AFCON golden boot winner also revealed the down sides to retirement he has considered, and how he’s preparing for life after football.

“Of course. If you don’t prepare, you just can’t decide to quit at once. You have to be mentally, financially, and emotionally prepared because it is going to be different. You wouldn’t get the huge salary anymore, and you still have responsibility, so you have to cut your spending. So, I think I have been preparing, even though we still want more money, I’m grateful for what God has blessed me with. It’s going to be tough especially mentally because you don’t train and play games anymore. The fame and popularity goes down,so I have to be ready, just to focus on my kids and my family,” the 35-year-old concluded.

Ighalo enjoyed a great individual season with Al-Wehda in the Saudi Pro League, scoring 15 goals from 31 games for the Red genies.

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