Didier Drogba, the passion of football has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 36.
The Chelsea striker represented the Elephants at this summer`s World Cup in Brazil but has now decided to focus on his club career after scoring 65 times in 104 appearances for his country.
“It is with much sadness that I have decided to retire from international football,” Drogba wrote in a statement released on Friday.
“These past 12 years in the national team have been full of emotions. From my first call-up to my last match, I have always tried to give my best for my country.
“I am very proud to have been captain of this team for eight years and to have contributed to placing my country on the world stage of football, taking part in three World Cups and two African Cup of Nations finals.
“I cannot convey enough thanks to the fans for all the love and support during these years. All my goals, all my caps, all our victories are for you – I love you.”
Drogba made his Cote d`Ivoire debut in September 2002, against South Africa, and broke his international duck the following February, in a 3-0 win over Cameroon.
The attacker captained his country in their first ever appearance at the World Cup, in 2006, netting in the Elephants` opening game, a 2-1 loss to Argentina.
Drogba struck again at South Africa 2010, against Brazil, but he failed to find the net in his three appearances at this summer`s tournament as Cote d`Ivoire failed to make it out of the group stage for the third time in a row.
Having since completed a free transfer to Chelsea following the expiration of his contract with Galatasaray, Drogba has now called time on his long and illustrious international career.