After 12 years of service and a record 65 goals in 104 games, Didier Drogba's international retirement from the Ivory Coast team at the age of 36 has been met with "surprise" by the country's federation, which said it wants to talk with the veteran striker over his decision.
Instead of expressing gratitude to its leading scorer of all time, the Ivory Coast Football Federation responded to Drogba's announcement with a statement saying it was taken off guard and hadn't been informed.
"The Ivorian Football Federation intends to make immediate contact (with Drogba) to determine the underlying reasons for this decision before giving its official position on the end of the international career of the player Didier Drogba," FIF President Sidy Diallo said, delaying a tribute to one of its best-ever players.
Drogba announced his decision on Friday after representing his country since 2002 and captaining the national team for the last eight years. His final game was the last-minute loss to Greece at the World Cup in Brazil which denied the Ivorians a place in the second round for the first time.
Drogba played in all three of Ivory Coast's World Cup appearances, in 2006, 2010 and this year. And although he couldn't inspire the Ivorians to a major title during his time with the team — losing two African Cup finals — Drogba was undoubtedly one of the West Africa nation's greatest players.
"It is with much sadness that I have decided to retire from international football," Drogba said on his personal website. "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."
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