IVORY Coast striker Didier Drogba has announced his retirement from international football Friday - after 12 years playing for his nation.
The 36-year-old - who is the Ivory Coast's all-time record goalscorer with 65 goals in 104 appearances - revealed the news in a statement released on his social network accounts, but, did not give a reason for the decision.
'It is with much sadness that I have decided to retire from international football,' the statement on Drogba's official Twitter account read.
'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.'
He added: 'I am very proud to have been captain of this team for 8 years and to have contributed to placing my country on the world stage of football taking part in 3 World Cups and 2 African Cup of Nations finals.'
Drogba also thanked the fans, who he dedicated his international goals to, and expressed his gratitude to his teammates and the side's new manager, Herve Renard, in the statement.
Drogba recently signed a one-year contract with Premier League side Chelsea - two years after he left the club - following his departure from Turkish giants Galatasaray at the end of last season.
Despite the African Cup of Nations taking place next year, it is believed that the striker made the decision to put a halt to his international career to try and prolong his chances of playing top-level football with The Blues.