Former West Bromwich Albion star Osaze Odemwingie recently explained the factors leading to his departure from playing for the Super Eagles, attributing it to an injury that affected his capacity to represent Nigeria further.
After contributing significantly to the Nigerian team, creating memorable moments until his participation in the 2014 World Cup, Odemwingie shared insights during a live video about his decision to step back from Nigerian football at the age of 33, post-2014 World Cup. Despite his potential to continue playing for a few more years, a knee injury became a hindrance to his continuation.
He elaborated on how the injury occurred due to playing three consecutive games without a proper preseason, leading to fatigue, muscle strain, and the subsequent knee issue.
"Why did I stop playing for Nigeria early? It was not early. In the World Cup 2014, I was 33. Yeah, I could still play a few years, but I got injured right after the World Cup. I had no preseason that week, I played three games in a row. My legs were tired. So my muscles didn't hold the knee in a position that usually it will hold. It would hold the knee, but the knee just went. Yeah, the quads were tired," he explained.
While there were previous reports of a dispute between Odemwingie and Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Odemwingie found himself included in Nigeria's 30-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in May 2014. Eventually, he secured a place in the final 23-man squad for the tournament in June.