By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international defender, Costa Nhamoinesu has announced his retirement from international football ahead of the country’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals to be held from June 21 to July 19 in Egypt.
The 33 year-old defender, who was recently appointed the team captain of Czech Republic topflight club Sparta Prague confirmed that he was calling time on his Zimbabwe career, in a brief statement on his official Twitter account on Wednesday evening.
“Calling it a day at international level. Thank you God for the opportunity. Thank you Zimbabwe,” the dreadlocked player said.
Nhamoinesu’s retirement comes at a time Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa was reportedly considering selecting him in his squad for the AFCON finals, where Zimbabwe was drawn in Group A alongside the hosts Egypt, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In fact Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare told newzimbabwe.com in an interview that they were surprised with Nhamoinesu’s decision to end his international career.
“We are obviously surprised that Costa has decided to retire from international football. He was definitely going to be considered for selection into the Warriors squad for the AFCON finals. “Costa did not participate in the qualifying campaign, but was still under consideration. He is playing regularly for his club,” Mpandare said.
Nhamoinesu was part of the national team squad that qualified for the 2017 AFCON held on Gabon, and he played all three games at the tournament as Zimbabwe bowed out in the group stages.
He was expected to return to the squad for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers, but didn’t feature in all the matches after reportedly falling out with Chidzambwa for allegedly refusing to travel for the Cosafa Cup tournament in South Africa last year.
A huge fan favourite in the Warriors set-up, the dreadlocked star pulled out of the squad to Polokwane on the eleventh hour, citing an injury although he went on to feature regularly for his club immediately after returning to Europe.
He was not called up to the national team since then, missing out on the team’s successful 2019 AFCON qualifying campaign.
The former Masvingo United and Amazulu player, who also played professional football in Poland, earned 11 caps for the Warriors, scoring his first and only goal in international football against Eswatini in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in 2016.