Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure has announced his retirement from international football just after winning the Africa Cup of Nations. The Ivory Coast national team finally managed to put a monkey off their back after lifting the trophy.
For almost a decade, Ivory Coast have been favourites to win the trophy due to a star studded squad that included the likes of Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré. Kolo Toure was also an important part of the team and he is one of the few African players who has lifted league titles. The Liverpool defender used this experience to see off Equatorial Guinea in a penalty shootout in the final.
The 33-year-old had been stating before the Africa Cup of Nations began for the 2015 edition that he would retire after this tournament. It turned out to be the perfect send-off for the former Manchester City and Arsenal defender, as Ivory Coast finally lifted this trophy to end a two decade wait. Even though he may have found first-team opportunities limited at Liverpool this season, Ivory Coast used him in all of the six matches in this tournament. The experience brought on by the defender, who has played in three world cups, was very crucial indeed.
“It is with great emotion that I inform you that it is time to say goodbye. My goal was to win the Africa Cup of Nations and I must admit that it was a very difficult decision to make.I do love my country and especially love football, but at some point, there comes a time to stop. Sometimes it plays in your mind, but with this incredible success you have to forget the past and enjoy the moment. I am going to introduce my successor at the heart of the defence to you. This is Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba, the new boss of the defence,” said Touré.