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Victor Wanyama retires from International football

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango and Charles Odero | September 27th 2021
Harambee Stars Captain Victor Wanyama dribble ball past Comoros Ali M.madi during Group G match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Comoros at Kasarani stadium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama has announced his retirement from international football, the 30-year-old said on his official social media pages.

Wanyama's announcement comes weeks after he missed out on recent national team duties.

“Growing up it was always my dream to get the chance to represent my country. With a great deal of pride, I can say that I have been fortunate to live my dream!” he wrote

“From making my debut against Nigeria to captaining the team at Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt-these past 14-years have gone beyond what I ever thought possible.”

“We have shared great memories together and I am proud to have been your captain and leader.”

“But all good things must come to an end eventually; and after long consideration, I have made the really difficult decision to retire from international Football,” said Wanyama.

The current Montréal captain promised to continue supporting the team off the field.

“The time has come to hand over the team to the next generation so that they too can make their mark and help our country reach even greater heights.”

“I hope to return one day and help the federation off the field but until then, I will still be Harambee Stars’ biggest supporter and I will be cheering you guy’s on from the sidelines,” said the former Tottenham player.

International Footballer Victor Wanyama of Victor Wanyama Foundation after signing memorandum of Understanding between United Nations Human Settlements Programme and Victor Wanyama Foundation in Nairobi on Monday, Jan 11, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The last time Wanyama featured for Kenya was in the Afcon qualifiers played in November last year against Comoros which Harambee Stars lost 2-1.

Wanyama started his professional career with Belgian side Germinal Beerschot AC in 2009 before moving on to Scotland giants Celtic for two years before joining Southampton on 11 July 2013 for £11.5m.

He became the first ever Kenyan player to score in the UEFA Champions League when he scored the first goal in Celtic's 2–1 win over Barcelona on November 7, 2012.

He then joined Spurs from Southampton in the summer of 2016 but his career had been marred by bursts of nagging injuries, which have also kept him out of action in crucial parts of the season.

On March 3, 2020, Tottenham Hotspur announced the departure of Wanyama to Montreal Impact where he became the third Kenyan footballer to play in the MLS after Lawrence Olum and Handwalla Bwana and the 'Lion of Muthurwa' can’t wait to win the club fans from across Africa.

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